Roma had a goal disallowed and Wojciech Szczesny denied Marek Hamsik as Napoli were pegged back 0-0 at the San Paolo.
This edition of the Derby del Sole was worth more than three points, as the Partenopei were third and the Giallorossi in fifth, so this was a Scudetto showdown. Manolo Gabbiadini, Gervinho, Francesco Totti, Vasilis Torosidis and Kevin Strootman missed out.
The difference in mood was immense, as Roma were without a win in five competitive games, whereas the Partenopei lost one of their last 20.
Roma’s last victory at the San Paolo was 3-1 in December 2011, followed by four consecutive defeats between Serie A and Coppa Italia, scoring once and conceding 10.
Mohamed Salah’s angled drive and an Edin Dzeko header whistled wide, while Gonzalo Higuain started his run too early and the Marek Hamsik pass was behind him from 12 yards.
After an even start, Napoli took more control as the half wore on and Lorenzo Insigne blasted over from a tight angle, while Higuain’s volley was too close to Wojciech Szczesny.
Kostas Manolas volleyed a corner over and Insigne’s first touch let him down on a dangerous counter-attack. Moments later Insigne blasted over on another rapid run.
In a bizarre moment, linesman Gianluca Cariolato collapsed with a torn hamstring and had to be stretchered off, replaced by fourth official Marco Barbirati.
Straight after the restart, Faouzi Ghoulam’s ball flashed across the face of goal, but Higuain failed to make contact from four yards.
Szczesny also had to smother an Insigne assist at Jose Callejon’s feet in a similar chance and the Spaniard nodded over.
On the hour mark Marek Hamsik went clear after a defensive error only for his angled drive to skim the base of the far post.
Manolas was a rock in the Roma defence and his diving header stopped Higuain meeting an Insigne cross from six yards.
Roma had the ball in the back of the net on 81 minutes with a Daniele De Rossi header, but the Rudiger cross had already swerved out of play.
Hamsik ran on to a through ball, but was denied by a double Szczesny save from close range. Deep into stoppages Szczesny also beat away a Dries Mertens snapshot at the near post and Omar El Kaddouri turned the follow-up wide.
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