Sport

Simeone Hat-Trick Buries Napoli Title Hopes

Simeone Hat-Trick Buries Napoli Title Hopes”

Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off early as Napoli's title hopes took a severe knock on Sunday with a Giovanni Simeone hat-trick giving Fiorentina a shock 3-0 win which allows Juventus to close in on the Serie A title.

Juventus' late comeback against a 10-man Inter Milan on Saturday salvaged their standing atop the league for another round and put the pressure on second-placed Napoli to respond against the Viola. But after an nearly three minute review by VAR, the on field decision was overruled and a free-kick was presented instead, but the review deemed Koulibaly was the last defender and was subsequently sent off with a straight red card.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri replaced midfielder Jorginho with central defender Lorenzo Tonelli.

The deadlock was broken shortly after the half-hour mark when Simeone ran towards a Cristiano Biraghi ball over the top, claimed possession and slotted through the legs of the onrushing Pepe Reina.

Simeone's second arrived with just under half an hour remaining.

Milan remained one point behind sixth-place Atalanta, which beat Genoa 3-1, in the fight for the last Europa League spot.

"We hadn't won a match in 40 days and have done everything to complicate life. We can't drop points".

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Bologna thought it had equalized four minutes later but what would have been Riccardo Orsolini's first Serie A goal was waved off by the VAR for a handball in the buildup by Rodrigo Palacio.

Bonaventura doubled Milan's advantage going into the break with Sebastien De Maio heading in for Bologna after 73 minutes. A win would've seen Partenopei finish the weekend one point behind Juve, who still have to play away to Roma before the end of the season.

SPAL pushed their relegation rivals Hellas Verona ever closer to relegation by winning 3-1 at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Chievo, whose coach Rolando Maran was sacked on Sunday, drop into the relegation zone with just three games to play.

Cagliari was also in danger after a 4-1 loss at Sampdoria left the Sardinian club two points above the relegation zone, while 15th-place Crotone gained some breathing room with a 4-1 win over Sassuolo.

A late Bacary Sagna goal grabbed a 3-3 win for Benevento against Udinese, who had looked set to earn a first win under new coach Igor Tudor after a 12-match losing streak cost predecessor Massimo Oddo his job during the week.



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