Napoli was held 0-0 by Fiorentina

It’s as you were at the top of Serie A after the top four all played out goalless draws this weekend, leaving unbeaten Inter Milan still leading the pack.

Napoli stay second on 39 points after their stalemate with Fiorentina on Sunday, one point behind Inter, who drew 0-0 at arch-rivals Juventus on Saturday night. 

In the early game on Sunday, fourth-placed Roma were frustrated at Chievo, whose veteran goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino made several magnificent saves to deny the dominant away side.

Napoli surrendered first place to Inter after losing at home to Juve last time out, and Sunday’s was another uninspiring home display that did not live up to their reputation as Serie A’s most attractive side.

Fiorentina had the best of a tight first half. while Maurizio Sarri’s side woke up after the break, with Piotr Zielinski going closest when his shot was pushed onto the post by Fiorentina stopper Marco Sportiello in the 54th minute and Dries Mertens shooting straight at the keeper when clean through 15 minutes later. Yet the away side were well worth a point.

The draw comes after Wednesday’s dispiriting Champions League defeat at Feyenoord, which sent Napoli into the Europa League.

“We only have to worry when we don’t create chances, but now we are creating them,” Sarri said afterwards. 

“I was worried by Wednesday’s performance, not this one.

“It’s the kind of game where if you win 1-0, everyone says Napoli have found themselves again.”

Roma stay in touch with the top but will be ruing their draw, which leaves them five points behind Inter having played a game less. 

They can also be caught by local rivals Lazio, whose game with Torino in Rome on Monday is one of their two games in hand on the top three.

Chievo keeper Sorrentino blocked everything dominant Roma threw at him, denying Patrick Schick and Gerson with a superb 24th-minute double save and making a string of other stops.

But the 38-year-old’s best moment came with seven minutes remaining when Schick, making his full Roma debut, bore down on goal looking for the winner.

The Czech ripped a shot that was sharply deflected, and Sorrentino, already diving one way, stuck out a leg to save what looked a certain goal and a point for his team.

“It was one-way traffic,” bemoaned Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco.

“We had opportunities in both the first and second half. We deserved a goal, but we didn’t score and that is our fault. We need to be more clinical in front of goal.”

Rock-bottom Benevento returned to losing ways after picking up their first point of the season in last-week’s dramatic last-gasp draw with AC Milan. On Sunday, Benevento lost 2-0 at Udinese whose goals came from Antonin Barak and Kevin Lasagna.

Hellas Verona stayed second-bottom on ten points after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw at SPAL, who snatched a point thanks to an Alberto Paloschi strike four minutes before the end and Mirco Antenucci last ditch penalty.

Fourth-from-bottom Sassuolo will have the chance to pull away from the drop zone when they host fellow strugglers Crotone later.

AC Milan have the chance to bounce back from last week’s humiliating draw with Benevento when they host Bologna later on Sunday. – Agence France-Presse

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