Serie A: Napoli keep title race alive with dramatic win over Chievo

Napoli missed a penalty and gifted their opponents a goal before scoring twice late in the game to snatch a 2-1 win over lowly Chievo on Sunday and keep the Serie A title race alive.

Serie A: Napoli keep title race alive with dramatic win over Chievo
Napoli scored twice late in the game. (Reuters)

MILAN: Napoli missed a penalty and gifted their opponents a goal before scoring twice late in the game to snatch a 2-1 win over lowly Chievo on Sunday and keep the Serie A title race alive.

Napoli`s title challenge appeared to be petering out after Dries Mertens saw his penalty saved early in the second half and Mariusz Stepinski put the Flying Donkeys ahead with 17 minutes left.

But substitute Arkadiusz Milik headed an equaliser with one minute remaining and Amadou Diawara grabbed the winner in the third minute of stoppage time to leave Napoli four points behind leaders Juventus.

Juventus, chasing a seventh successive title, lead with 81 points after their 4-2 win at Benevento on Saturday with Napoli on 77, Roma on 60 and Inter Milan on 59.

Napoli dominated the first half but could not find a way through Chievo`s packed penalty area.

Napoli were awarded a penalty in the 51st minute after Fabio Depaoli tugged Dries Mertens` arm. The relief around the San Paolo was palpable but it was short-lived as the Belgian`s spot kick was saved by Stefano Sorrentino.

It got worse for Napoli as they lost possession in their own half and Emanuele Giaccherini -- on loan to Chievo from Napoli -- found Stepinksi who fired past Pepe Reina.

Lorenzo Tonelli headed against the Chievo bar as Napoli poured forward and they finally levelled when Milik scored with a looping header from Insigne`s cross.

But the drama was not over as a corner landed at Diawara`s feet and the Guinean midfielder curled his shot into the far corner to spark delirious scenes.

Inter missed a chance to go third after losing 1-0 to Torino where their former forward Adem Ljajic scored the only goal. It was also the first time Torino coach Walter Mazzarri had faced Inter since he was fired by them in 2014.

Two teams in the bottom three both won as Crotone beat Bologna 1-0 at home and Verona overcame Cagliari by the same score.

Simeon Tochukwu scored the winner for Crotone who stayed 18th in the 20-team table but are only behind SPAL on goal difference, with both on 27 points.

Romulo scored Verona`s only goal from a penalty awarded with the help of the video replay system (VAR) for handball by Leonardo Pavoletti. Verona, two points behind SPAL and Crotone, had a second goal chalked off by VAR for offside. 

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