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Napoli reclaim top spot in Serie A with win over Lazio

Napoli's Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Lazio. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

Napoli reclaimed the top spot in Italy's Serie A title race ahead of defending champions Juventus after beating Lazio 4-1.

Despite Napoli’s convincing win, it was Lazio who struck first, as early as the third minute when Stefan de Vrij scored from a Ciro Immobile cross.

Napoli levelled the score just before the end of the first half through a goal by Jose Callejon.

Napoli’s second was in the form of an own goal by Lazio defender Wallace who sent the ball in his own goalpost in the 53rd minute.

The fate of the match was sealed two minutes later when Mario Rui scored with a long-range effort, which was deflected off his teammate Piotr Zielinski.

Dries Mertens completed the rout as he scored the host team’s fourth goal after 72 minutes.

With this win, Napoli are one point ahead of Juventus who were briefly on top of the standings after beating Fiorentina 2-0.

“It was a win earned with heart and soul,” Callejon said of his side who are targeting a first Serie A title since 1990.

Meanwhile, it was a third straight defeat for Lazio whose position in third is now under threat from Inter Milan and Roma.

“I saw an unaccpetable Lazio,” said coach Simone Inzaghi. “We deserved to lose. We weren't in the game in the second half and against Napoli you pay.”

In other Serie A encounters, AC Milan thrashed SPAL 4-0 while Atalanta were held to a 1-1 draw at Crotone.