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Napoli back on top as coach delights in ugly win

  • Published at 08:20 am November 27th, 2017
Napoli back on top as coach delights in ugly win
Unbeaten Napoli quickly muscled back to the top of Serie A as coach Maurizio Sarri took delight in what he described as an "ugly" 1-0 win on a difficult pitch at Udinese Sunday. AS Roma's record-breaking run of away wins ended after their veteran midfielder Daniele de Rossi gave away a needless penalty and was sent off in a 1-1 draw at Genoa while big-spending AC Milan were held 0-0 at home by Torino. Fiorentina converted a 93rd minute penalty, awarded with the help of VAR, to draw 1-1 at Lazio while champion Juventus cantered to a 3-0 win at home to lowly Crotone with second-half goals from Mario Mandzukic, Mattia de Sciglio and Medhi Benatia. Napoli's win was their 12th in 14 Serie A games and left them top of Serie A on 38 points, two ahead of Inter Milan, also unbeaten, who led for less than 24 hours after a 3-1 win at Cagliari Saturday. Juve, who visit Napoli Friday, are third with 34 and Roma fourth with 31. Milan, in seventh on 20 points, failed to score for their fourth successive home league match. Midfielder Jorginho scored Napoli's winner in the 33rd minute, snapping up the rebound after his own penalty was saved by Simone Scuffet, to hand Massimo Oddo a losing debut as Udinese coach. Sarri said it was the sort of game that his team might well have lost last season and felt it proved they had learned to win even when playing badly. Roma were leading 1-0 in a bad-tempered match when De Rossi was involved in an off-the-ball pushing match with Genoa forward Gianluca Lapadula at a corner and slapped him in the face. After consulting the video replay system (VAR), the referee awarded a penalty which Lapadula converted in the 70th minute and the 34-year-old De Rossi was sent off. He later apologised for the incident. Roma, who had won their previous 12 away games stretching back to February, had gone ahead 11 minutes earlier when Stephan El Shaarawy volleyed home Alessandro Florenzi's cross. Defender Stefan de Vrij headed fifth-placed Lazio (29 points) ahead in the 25th minute at the Stadio Olimpico and they led until deep into stoppage time when Lazio substitute Felipe Caicedo, who had just come in, tackled German Pezzella. The move continued but when the ball went out of play, the referee consulted the VAR and awarded a penalty for a Caicedo foul amid angry Lazio protests. Khouma Babacar converted to give eleventh-placed Fiorentina a point. Juve took 52 minutes to break down Crotone when Mandzukic headed in Andrea Barzagli's cross. De Sciglio added the second with a long-range effort on the hour, the 25-year-old fullback's first-ever professional goal, before Benatia tapped in the third following a corner. Milan coach Vincenzo Montella said his team did everything but score. RESULTS Genoa 1 (Lapadula 70-P) Roma 1 (El Shaarawy 59) Milan 0 Torino 0 Udinese 0 Napoli 1 (Jorginho 33) Lazio 1 (De Vrij 25) Fiorentina 1 (Babacar 90+4-P) Juventus 3 (Mandzukic 52, De Sciglio 60, Benatia 71) Crotone 0   MONDAY'S FIXTURE Atalanta v Benevento