Serie A: Napoli moves even with Juventus at the top
MILAN (AP) — Napoli came from behind to beat Chievo Verona 3-1 and move provisionally level with Juventus at the top of the Serie A table on Saturday.
Nicola Rigoni gave Chievo a surprise lead in the second minute but Gonzalo Higuain leveled four minutes later. Vlad Chiriches and Jose Callejon secured its first win in six matches in all competitions.
Juventus visits Atalanta on Sunday.
"We have had so many good games recently but we haven't managed to win," Callejon said. "Today it was important to beat Chievo to return to the top: If we play like this we can stay where we are.
"The dream (of the league title) is still there, these fans are with us, they want to win, we want to win but you can't always."
Earlier, Sampdoria boosted its chances of avoiding relegation by defeating bottom club Hellas Verona 3-0. Sampdoria moved provisionally eight points clear of the relegation zone. Verona remained nine points from safety.
Napoli was looking to keep up the pressure on Juventus but got off to the worst possible start as it gifted Chievo an early lead as Chiriches was robbed by Nicola Rigoni, who burst clear and blasted past Pepe Reina.
Its advantage lasted just four minutes before Faouzi Ghoulam was released on the left and he crossed for Higuain to roll in.
Chiriches atoned for his error by heading Napoli in front seven minutes from halftime with his first goal in Serie A.
Higuain nearly doubled his tally but Chievo goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri just did enough to fingertip his effort onto the crossbar.
Napoli did get a third three minutes later as Callejon slotted Allan's through ball into the bottom left corner.
Sampdoria also got off to a flying start as Roberto Soriano fired in a rebound after Pierluigi Gollini parried Fabio Quagliarella's effort.
Quagliarella was at the center of the action again for the second goal, four minutes later, taking advantage of Mohamed Fares' slip to race through one-on-one with Gollini. His shot hit the bar but Cassano tapped in the rebound.
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos added the third on the half hour, acrobatically volleying in Lorenzo De Silvestri's cross.