Napoli runs riot in Rome

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Napoli's Amin Younes (2nd R) celebrates with (from L) Arkadiusz Milik, Fabian Ruiz, Kalidou Koulibaly and Mario Rui after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match aganst Roma at the Olympic Stadium in Rome Sunday. — AFP

MILAN — Napoli piled the pressure on Claudio Ranieri's Roma with a 4-1 win in the Stadio Olimpico Sunday consolidating second place, 15 points behind runaway leader Juventus in Serie A.

Arkadiusz Milik put the visitors ahead after two minutes with Dries Mertens, Simone Verdi and Amin Younes adding three more in the second half to inflict another blow on the host’s Champions League ambitions next season.

Juventus continued its march toward an eighth consecutive Serie A title with on-form teenager Moise Kean scoring the only goal against Empoli Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli has almost no chance of winning the title with nine games to go, but extended its cushion on third-placed Inter Milan to ten points before Luciano Spalletti's side host Lazio later Sunday.

"I expected a performance like this. In training I had seen the right spirit, the team is growing," said Ancelotti, whose side is building toward a Europa League quarterfinal clash against Arsenal.

It was a further blow for Ranieri in just his third game in charge since taking over from Eusebio Di Franecesco as the Romans fell to their second consecutive defeat for the first time this season.

"Do I regret having accepted Roma? Never. I could never regret training this club," said Ranieri.

"It was tough, as Napoli swarm around you, change position constantly and make it very difficult to defend," said Ranieri.

"We're doing everything we can."

Roma's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League is dwindling and it is in danger of missing out on European football as its sixth position is under threat from Lazio which is two points behind but has a game in hand.

Roma failed to take advantage of fourth-placed AC Milan's 1-0 defeat against Sampdoria Saturday. A win would have moved them within a point of the Champions League places.

Instead, Atalanta jumped to fifth with a 3-1 comeback win against Parma.

Torino held Fiorentina 1-1 in Tuscany and is two points adrift of the Europa League places. — AFP


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