Napoli Rout Cremonese at the top of the Italian table

Last update: October 10, 2022, 9:34 a.m. HST

Napoli’s Matteo Politano celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal from a penalty kick during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Cremonese and Napoli at Zini Stadium in Cremona, Italy on Sunday October 9, 2022. (Spada/LaPresse via PA)

Goals from Matteo Politano, Giovanni Simeone, Hirving Lozano and Mathias Olivera helped Napoli beat Cremonese 4-1 and open a two-point lead at the top of the Serie A table after second-placed Atalanta failed only manage a draw against Udinese.

Napoli sit alone atop Serie A after Giovanni Simeone’s latest super-sub led to a 4-1 win at Cremonese that took his side two points clear on Sunday.

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Unbeaten Napoli led the league on goal difference heading into this weekend’s games but they took advantage of Atalanta to blow a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw against Udinese with a club-record eighth win in a row in all competitions.

Simeone scored the second in a tight Napoli game with 14 minutes remaining when he met Mario Rui’s deep cross with a close-range header.

It was Simeone’s fourth goal in nine appearances since arriving from Verona in August – only one of which he started – following a positive start to life in southern Italy during which he developed an immediate connection with Napoli supporters.

“I feel a bit like them, a bit Argentinian and a bit Italian,” Simeone told DAZN.

“What matters in football is the quality of time you have. There were many times when I didn’t have much time and did well and times when I had a lot of minutes and I did nothing.

The heavy defeat was hard on the fiery Cremonese who bounced back after falling behind from a light 26th-minute penalty scored by Matteo Politano to equalize Cyriel Dessers’ first Serie A goal a minute after half-time.

However, Massimiliano Alvini’s winless side remain second with three points after losing their sixth in their first nine top-flight matches since 1996.

Luca Zanimacchia hit the bar in the first half and they blew a few half chances with Napoli faltering after Dessers leveled but Simeone broke their spirits and Hirving Lozano and Mathias Olivera put the icing on the cake in the break time.

Coach Luciano Spalletti can now focus on qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages when they host Ajax on Wednesday.” width=”942″ height=”530″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”>

Udinese against Atalanta< /h4>

Two of Serie A's model clubs faced off in front of 25,000 fans at third-placed Udinese's Dacia Arena, one of the league's few modern club-owned stadiums.

Gerard Deulofeu's fine 67th-minute free-kick and a Nehuen Perez header 11 minutes later gave Udinese a draw against Atalanta, which left them three points behind Napoli.

Gian Piero Gasperini says his side 'should be happy' despite finishing his 300th game as Atalanta manager his injury-hit side comfortably ahead 11 minutes after half-time thanks to a tap -in from Ademola Lookman and penalty from Luis Muriel.

Roma are another point back in fifth after struggling to a 2-1 win over 10-man Lecce, but Jose Mourinho says he is unlikely to hurt match-winner Paulo Dybala until next year .

The Argentina striker injured his left thigh while scoring the winning penalty two minutes after the break and appeared in tears on the bench after being substituted by Nemanja Matic seconds later.

Mourinho said the injury was "more very serious than just bad", putting him at risk of missing all of Roma's remaining nine games in 2022 and potentially the World Cup which starts next month.

"I haven't spoken to the medical staff but I continue my experience and what he told me, he is unlikely to come back before 2023," Mourinho told DAZN.

Monza is on the rise

Monza's revival under Raffaele Palladino continued with their third straight win, a comfortable 2-0 win over Spezia that lifted them into 12th place on 10 points.

Palladino's side are just three points behind their first victims, Juventus, and one behind Torino, who drew 1-1 with Empoli in Sunday's opener.

Monza are level on points with 11th-placed Salernitana, who beat struggling Verona 2-1 thanks to a stoppage-time strike from Boulaye Dia that sparked wild celebrations and a brawl on the pitch.

Ahead of a dramatic win at Salerno, owner Danilo Iervolino fueled rumors that Franck Ribery was set to leave the game by confirming the 39-year-old was in talks over a managerial role at the club for his retirement.

"We'll give him a role, whatever he wants, when and how he wants," Iervolino says.

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