MILAN: A bizarre goal prevented Napoli from moving top of Serie A as it lost 1-0 at home to Empoli on Sunday.
Empoli scored the only goal of the match in the 70th minute. A corner was floated in from the left, Napoli midfielder Andr Anguissa headed it onto the back of Patrick Cutrones head at the near post and the ricochet took the ball into the back of the net.
Napoli slipped to fourth, a point behind Inter Milan and Atalanta, which won 2-1 at Hellas Verona. Napoli remained three points behind league leader AC Milan. Inter can move above its city rival if the defending champion wins at home to relegation-threatened Empoli later.
After Milan surprisingly drew 1-1 at Udinese on Saturday, Napoli knew it could move into top spot but found itself thwarted by a good performance from the visitors, and more wayward finishing.
Napoli hit the woodwork twice. Once in the first half when Eljif Elmas 20-yard effort cannoned off the crossbar. And again, after Empoli had taken the lead, when a fierce strike from Andrea Petagna came off the base of the right post.
Juan Jesus did have the ball in the back of the net after a goalline scramble but it was ruled out for offside. That came seven minutes before Empolis strange winner.
Atalanta put its Champions League disappointment behind it as it fought back to win in Verona and set a new club record of six successive away victories.
Aleksej Miranchuk canceled out Giovanni Simeones opener in the first half and Teun Koopmeiners scored what was to prove the winner in the 62nd minute — thanks in part to a huge deflection off Verona defender Adrien Tameze.
Atalanta was knocked out of the Champions League after it lost 3-2 at home to Villarreal on Thursday in a game that had been postponed because of snowfall.
Two Sassuolo goals in six second-half minutes from Domenico Berardi and Giacomo Raspadori saw the home side fight back to beat Lazio 2-1.
Mattia Zaccagni had got Lazio off to a great start by scoring in the sixth minute.
Torino beat Bologna 2-1 to inch further away from the relegation zone.
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