Serie A: Napoli are back to the form


Napoli completed a 6-1 thrashing of Sassuolo on Saturday, a win that ensured Luciano Spalletti's side closed the gap on Serie A leaders AC Milan to four points.

Dries Mertens scored twice, while there were also goals from Kalidou Koulibaly, Victor Osimhen, Hirving Lozano and Amir Rrahmani in a rampant display by Napoli, which was 4-0 up after 21 minutes.

Maxime Lopez netted a late consolation for mid-table Sassuolo. Napoli was battling with the Milan clubs for the Serie A title until recently, but a run of two defeats and a draw saw its scudetto bid all but evaporate. The win over Sassuolo left it four points below league leader AC Milan, which hosts Fiorentina on Sunday, and four points above Juventus, which entertains bottom club Venezia.

Napoli was still reeling from last week's match at Empoli, where it was leading 2-0 before three goals in the final 10 minutes saw the home side win 3-2.

It started the match with a point to prove and Koulibaly headed into a corner. The lead was doubled in the 15th minute with another Lorenzo Insigne corner and another header, this time from Osimhen that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Osimhen set one up just two minutes later. Mertens won the ball in midfield and threaded it to Osimhen, who rolled it across for Lozano to slot in from six yards.

Mertens got on the scoresheet in the 21st and scored again early in the second-half following a one-two with Fabián Ruiz. Osimhen had a goal ruled out for offside before Amir Rahmani got Napoli's sixth, 10 minutes from time.

Two defeats in their last three matches had seen Napoli fall behind Milan as the season draws to a close, making a win over mid-table Sassuolo imperative if Spalletti's team are to have any chance of securing a first Scudetto since 1990 this term.

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