Serie A roundup: Napoli pays tribute to Maradona, takes outright lead

Dries Mertens scored twice as Napoli beat Lazio 4-0 on Sunday to take the outright lead of Serie A on the night it paid tribute to football great Diego Maradona.

As well as Mertens โ€” who has taken over several of Maradona’s records at Napoli โ€” Piotr Zieliล„ski and Fabiรกn Ruiz also netted to help Napoli move three points clear of second-place AC Milan, which earlier lost 3-1 at home to Sassuolo.

It was a special night for Napoli fans as the match came three days after the one-year anniversary of Maradona’s death. Maradona led Napoli to its only Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990 and is considered a god-like figure in the southern city.

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A statue of the former Argentina player and coach was unveiled in the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, while the players wore special shirts.

And Napoli got off to a quick start as goals from Zieliล„ski and Mertens put it 2-0 up with less than 10 minutes on the clock.

The second of Mertens’ goals, in the 29th minute, was a brilliant effort from the edge of the area that curled into the top left corner. It was a club record-extending 139th goal for Napoli from Belgium forward.

The 34-year-old Mertens was given a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 64th.

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Another delightful goal from Ruiz that arrowed into the top corner from outside the area capped a memorable night for Napoli.

Lazio, which is led by former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri, slipped seven points below fourth place.


Tammy Abraham’s first-half goal was enough to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Torino despite a poor performance from Jose Mourinho’s side.

Roma remained fifth, three points behind Atalanta.

Bologna won 1-0 at Spezia, and Genoa drew 0-0 at Udinese.

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