Italian Serie A Roundup, Dec. 19
Edinson Cavani’s late goal gave Napoli a 1-0 home win over Lecce on Sunday to move within three points of Serie A league leader AC Milan.
AC Milan leads with 36 points, three ahead of Napoli and Lazio. Napoli is second on goal difference.
Juventus missed the chance to move level with Napoli and Lazio by drawing 1-1 with Chievo Verona after Sergio Pellissier scored a late equalizer.
For Napoli’s Cavani it was his second injury time winner in two matches.
On Thursday his late goal secured a 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest to put Napoli into the Europa League knockout round.
Against Lecce, Napoli’s players appeared fatigued and created few clear chances, until the inspired Cavani fired home a long-range shot past goalkeeper Antonio Rosato.
"We knew it would be a tricky match," Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said. "We were tired after three matches in a week and it was a heavy pitch, but it was important that we won today."
The derby between Sampdoria and Genoa was also postponed due to heavy snow on the pitch at Ferraris stadium. Sampdoria is eighth in the Serie A standings with 23 points. Genoa is two places and two points behind its crosstown rival.
Lazio beat Udinese 3-2 Sunday after Udinese defender Cristian Zapata headed into his own net after the visitors had twice equalized.
Hernanes gave Lazio an early lead, but Alexis Sanchez pulled Udinese level soon after halftime. Giuseppe Biava then put Lazio back in front, but German Denis headed Udinese level again.
"It was a tough match, but after last week we were desperate to play," Lazio captain Stefano Mauri said. "It was a difficult game, but we deserved to win it."
Lazio took the lead two minutes in. Tommaso Rocchi intercepted a weak pass and set up Hernanes to open the scoring.
Udinese came back strongly and Antonio Di Natale and Mauricio Isla both shot wide from close range.
Hernanes came close to doubling his tally in the 25th, but his shot from outside the area rattled off the bar.
The home side should have doubled its lead in the 42nd. Rocchi led a Lazio counter attack and squared for Stephan Lichtsteiner, but Samir Handanovic saved his low shot and then held on to the follow up from Hernanes.
Udinese drew level early in the second half when Sanchez was left unmarked to head in,
Biava scored Lazio’s second three minutes later with a volley after Dias headed a corner back across the goal.
Denis’ first goal for Udinese brought the visitors back to level terms, but with three minutes remaining Zapata sent Cristian Ledesma’s corner into his own goal while under pressure from Libor Kozak.
"We have to improve every game," Mauri said. "We deserve to be where we are but we have to keep looking forward. For now we’ll enjoy the winter break and go again in 2011."
Chievo’s Michele Marcolini had a chance to open the scoring against Juventus in the 14th. Giorgio Chiellini brought down Davide Moscardelli, but the Chievo midfielder hit a weak spotkick that Marco Storari pushed wide for a corner.
Juventus fullback Frederick Sorensen hit the post in 28th, but three minutes later his side was ahead.
Vincenzo Iaquinta flicked on a corner and Quagliarella converted with a bicycle kick.
Seven minutes into the second half Juventus midfielder Manuel Giandonato was sent off, but the side should have doubled its lead when Milos Krasic hit the bar in the 80th.
But with time running out, Pellissier swept a low shot past Storari for a share of the points.
"We had a bit of luck at the end, but we deserved it because of all the chances we created," Pellissier said. "Also against Bologna we lost in the last minute, but tonight we got the draw because we kept on going till the end."
Also Sunday, it was: Bari 1, Palermo 1; Catania 1, Brescia 0 and Parma 0, Bologna 0.