Napoli moved back to the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win at Udinese on Sunday but it was tougher than the title hopefuls would have expected.
MILAN (AP) Napoli moved back to the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win at Udinese on Sunday but it was tougher than the title hopefuls would have expected.
Jorginho scored the only goal of the match after his penalty had been saved to send Napoli two points above Inter Milan, which won 3-1 at Cagliari on Saturday.
Title rival Roma was surprisingly held 1-1 at relegation-threatened Genoa in a match that saw Daniele De Rossi sent off.
Third-placed Juventus hosts Crotone later and will be looking to cut the gap to Napoli back to four points.
Napoli had scored 34 goals in its previous 13 matches but struggled to create goalscoring opportunities.
However, its pressure paid off shortly after the half-hour mark when Christian Maggio was brought down by Gabriele Angella in the area.
Jorginho's weak penalty was easily saved by Simone Scuffet but the Udinese goalkeeper couldn't hold onto the ball and the Italy midfielder tucked away the rebound.
Udinese tested Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina on a couple of occasions but Massimo Oddo's debut ended in defeat. The 41-year-old coach had replaced the fired Luigi Delneri on Tuesday.
DE ROSSI SEES RED
Roma had won its last six meetings with Genoa, home and away, but was frustrated at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Stephan El Shaarawy broke the deadlock just before the hour, firing Alessandro Florenzi's delightful cross into the bottom left corner.
However the match changed eight minutes later when, with Roma seemingly in control, De Rossi was sent off for slapping Gianluca Lapadula in the face.
Lapadula converted the resulting penalty.
Roma could have won the match late on but Kevin Strootman hit the crossbar.
The capital side slipped seven points behind Napoli, although it has a game in hand.
MONTELLA UNDER PRESSURE
AC Milan faltered again as it was held to a 0-0 draw at home to Torino, piling more pressure on coach Vincenzo Montella.
Milan, which spent more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) on new players in the offseason, has won just two of its past nine matches.
Nikola Kalinic hit the post early on while both Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and his Torino counterpart Salvatore Sirigu pulled off stunning saves.
Kalinic had a couple of efforts saved and wasted other opportunities. He was jeered by the fans when he was substituted and reacted by sarcastically applauding.
Patrick Cutrone had the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time but he was offside.