Napoli draws 0-0 against Fiorentina, fails to go back top
MILAN (AP) Napoli is struggling without Lorenzo Insigne and it was held to a goalless draw by Fiorentina in Serie A on Sunday.
Maurizio Sarri’s side could have gone back top of the league but it remained second, a point behind Inter Milan and one above Juventus after those two sides drew 0-0 on Saturday.
All of the top four sides failed to score this weekend. Roma remained five points behind Inter as it was also held to a goalless draw, at Chievo Verona.
AC Milan hosts Bologna later with new coach Gennaro Gattuso looking for a first win after a shock 2-2 draw at Benevento.
Napoli knew a victory over Fiorentina would see it reclaim top spot but it was coming off the back of successive defeats to Juventus and Feyenoord, the latter of which saw it eliminated from the Champions League.
Insigne had limped out of the Juventus match with a groin injury and Napoli had been struggling for goals since.
Fiorentina had the best chances in the first half and should have scored five minutes from the break but Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina kept out Giovanni Simeone’s effort after he had been sent clear by Cyril Thereau.
Napoli upped the pressure in the second half and Piotr Zielinski should have scored but he fired over the bar from close range.
Zielinski went even closer in the 55th but Fiorentina goalkeeper Marco Sportiello turned his effort onto the left post.
Napoli laid seige to the Fiorentina goal but could not find the goal that would have sent it back to the top of the table.
Roma was thwarted by the heroics of Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino and some wayward finishing.
Sorrentino had a point to prove after allowing five goals against Inter Milan last week and he pulled off a number of brilliant saves.
The 38-year-old displayed remarkable reflexes midway through the first period to deny first Patrik Schick and then immediately parry Gerson’s follow-up.
Sorrentino did even better eight minutes from time as Schick’s effort took a huge deflection and the goalkeeper was already falling the other way, but stuck out his trailing foot to prevent a late winner.
Roma was also denied on other opportunities while Edin Dzeko volleyed over from close range late on.
Chievo’s best chance came early when Roberto Inglese hit the crossbar.
There was to be no repeat of last week’s joy for Benevento as it lost 2-0 at Udinese.
Benevento had picked up its first ever point in Serie A after a stoppage-time equalizer from goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli secured a draw against Milan.
But Antonin Barak and Kevin Lasagna scored in the first half to help Udinese move seven points away from the relegation zone.
Two goals in the final four minutes, including an equalizer from the penalty spot, saw Spal come back to draw 2-2 in a relegation battle against Hellas Verona.
Only one point separates the two sides in the bottom three.
Sassuolo was playing Crotone later.
More AP Serie A coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/SerieA