NAPOLI MOVE INTO THIRD
Napoli stole a march on the four clubs vying for a place in the Champions League next season thanks to a 2-0 home win over Palermo at the Stadio San Paolo.
Edinson Cavani put Walter Mazzarri's side in front from the penalty spot and Marek Hamsik added the second 10 minutes before the interval.
Both sides created further chances, but Napoli's win was secured through a well-organised performance with dangerous counter-attacks whereas Palermo spurned their biggest chance due to a lack of concentration.
Napoli now lead Inter Milan, Udinese and Lazio by three points, putting the ball in their court for their matches tomorrow night with the quartet all in the hunt for Serie A's third place in the Champions League next season.
Ezequiel Lavezzi was left out of the Napoli side by Mazzarri, but his replacement Goran Pandev justified his inclusion with some neat touches.
In the fifth minute, he took the ball across the perimeter of the penalty area with Gokhan Inler taking over to curl a shot against the outside of the post.
Two good efforts from Josip Ilicic and Abel Hernandez were saved by Morgan de Sanctis before Pandev won the penalty with a cross which struck the hand of Milan Milanovic.
Cavani stepped up to put Napoli in front in the 16th minute as Palermo's protests were waved away.
Pandev set up the second goal with a pass over the top for Hamsik, who took the ball down well on his chest and then tucked his shot under the Palermo goalkeeper.
Paolo Cannavaro was inches away from adding a third in the 68th minute before Hernandez scored from an offside position in the 72nd minute when he should have left the ball for a team-mate who would have had a legitimate chance to score from eight yards out.
Lavezzi came on to rapturous applause, but he was not able to add a third as the game petered out late on.
Latest Football News at 11:00 BST