Napoli missed the chance to return to the top of the Serie A table as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Empoli at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday.
Eljif Elmas came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half as he rattled the crossbar from range, whilst Hirving Lozano forced a good save with a powerful effort. At the other end, Empoli squandered a fine chance when Nedim Bajrami met a dangerous low Patrick Cutrone cross as the back post but could only fire into the side-netting.
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In the second half, Napoli looked to have gone ahead through an unlikely source as Juan Jesus scrambled to backheel a Mario Rui freekick, but the Brazilian centre-back had moved to early and was flagged for offside. Meanwhile, Guglielmo Vicario was on hand to deny Lorenzo Insigne with an accurate strike.
Napoli were left reeling as Empoli took a shock lead in bizarre fashion, with only 20 minutes remaining. Cutrone flicked on a corner at the near post, but Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s clearance came off the back of the striker’s head and beyond goalkeeper David Ospina. Napoli tried to hit back and struck the post through a deflected Andrea Petagna shot, but couldn’t find an equaliser and remain in fourth place.