Edinson Cavani scored a hat-trick and missed a penalty as Napoli demolished Lazio, but Miroslav Klose earned respect by confessing to a handling offence.
Both sides were eager to prove themselves worthy title challengers, but lost their 100 per cent records last week. The Partenopei failed to get beyond a 0-0 against 10-man Catania, while the Aquile suffered a shock home defeat to Genoa. Miguel Angel Britos was the only injury absentee for the home side, but Vladimir Petkovic had to do without Cristian Brocchi, Mobido Diakite and Stefan Radu. Miroslav Klose and Stefano Mauri returned to the starting XI.
Lazio thought they had taken a surprise lead after just three and a half minutes when Miroslav Klose bundled a corner over the line. However, Napoli were absolutely livid, as replays show the German international clearly redirected the ball with his hand from five yards. A scuffle exploded between angry players and Klose admitted to the handling offence, prompting the referee to disallow the goal.
Goran Pandev drilled just wide against his former club, but it was Edinson Cavani who broke the deadlock for Napoli.
The Uruguayan unleashed a fierce effort from distance that took a crucial deflection off Michael Ciani to wrong-foot a helpless Federico Marchetti and dribble into the far bottom corner.
Pandev could’ve made it 2-0, but hesitated on Christian Maggio’s assist and allowed Ciani to clear. Marek Hamsik’s free kick was then palmed off the line.
Cavani did double Napoli’s lead as he spring the offside trap thanks to an Abdoullay Konko error on Paolo Cannavaro’s long ball over the top and his screamer bent back Marchetti’s palms to go in anyway.
Lazio were under constant pressure after that initial Klose chance and Maggio nodded over before the break.
Morgan De Sanctis stopped a dangerous Konko cross from going over the line, needed a fine save to deny Klose’s header and Stefano Mauri fired just over the bar.
Cavani completed his hat-trick when running on goal totally undisturbed to dribble round Marchetti and deposit into an empty net. However, Lazio were furious and believed he must’ve been offside.
Lorenzo Insigne came off the bench and with his tricky footwork earned a clear penalty by confusing Ciani. However, Cavani failed to complete his ‘poker’ by ballooning the spot-kick over the bar.
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Missed penalty: Cavani 75 (N)