By 90Min
October 14, 2017

Napoli extended their lead at the top of Serie A to five points with a disciplined 1-0 victory against a disjointed Roma side on Saturday evening.

The stage was set for Napoli to increase their points deficit at the Stadio Olimpico after the league's top scorer Ciro Immobile scored twice for Lazio in the early kick off to send Juventus to their first home defeat since 2015.

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Roma were forced to leave Kevin Strootman, Federico Fazio and Stephan El Shaaraway out of their squad whereas Napoli remained unchanged from their 3-0 win against Cagliari before the international break. 

The Partenopei dominated the early possession with their famous 'Sarri football' - and it took just twenty minutes for them to open the scoring after a defensive mix-up sent Lorenzo Insigne through one vs one, with the 5'4 magician beating Alisson at his near post after giving him the eyes.

Roma continued to soak up pressure, resigned to sitting deep and attempting to hit an organised Napoli back four on the counter - an unsuccessful tactic given the lack of support for Edin Dzeko with Radja Nainggolan filling in at number 10.

Neapolitan hearts were in mouths when star striker Dries Mertens went down clutching his shoulder just before half-time but it turned out to be nothing a little magic spray couldn't fix.

Both sides struggled to create any real chances after the restart with Roma trying their luck from distance but all of a sudden, Mertens had pinched the ball from the back-tracking Kostas Manolas and placed the ball just wide of the far post.

Manolas was replaced by Fazio after that challenge and Napoli's lead was almost doubled whilst the substitute prepared to make his entrance as Marek Hamsik fired straight down Alisson's throat - the Slovakian remaining just one goal away from equaling Diego Maradona's all-time Napoli goal-scoring record.

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/GettyImages

Roma came into the game more towards the end of the second half and had to wait until the 70th minute for their first shot on target - the substitute Fazio forcing Pepe Reina to acrobatically palm his header onto the post. 

Dzeko then hit the crossbar in the 84th minute with a looping free header as Napoli's zonal marking was left exposed at a corner.

Paolo Bruno/GettyImages

A sweeping cross to the far post by Aleksandar Kolarov found substitute Cengiz Under in the last minute of stoppage time but his volley was comfortably gathered by Reina to maintain his side's clean sheet.

The defeat leaves Roma four points off the chasing pack (with their postponed game against Sampdoria in hand) whilst Inter could keep the pressure on Napoli with a win in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday.

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