Eighteen goals were scored across four Serie A fixtures on Saturday, with Napoli and Lazio contributing to 14 of those through their respective wins over Sassuolo and Spezia. For the Naples-based side, it meant a near-confirmation of their return to the Champions League.
Napoli, who went into a retreat following their shock 3-2 loss against Empoli and other poor results of late, roared back into form with a 6-1 win over mid-table, giant-killers Sassuolo. The Partenopei raced into a four-nil lead before halftime and added further goals to their tally after the interval.
Kalidou Koulibaly headed Napoli in front from a Lorenzo Insigne corner in the seventh minute. Fifteen minutes in, the outcome repeated itself, albeit this time it was Victor Osimhen who leaped highest to head the ball past Andrea Consigli in the Sassuolo goal from the corner.
Four minutes later, Hirving Lozano tapped the ball in at the back post to make it 3-0 to the Partenopei, after they had won the ball high in the opposition half through aggressive pressing. And Dries Mertens completed an astounding first 21 minutes for the Neapolitans by adding a fourth from the left corner of the penalty box.
The Dutchman grabbed his brace after the break, caressing the ball past Consigli – with a little help from Giacomo Ferrari on the line – after collecting a reverse pass from Fabian Ruiz. Centre-back Amir Rrahmani added another in the 80th minute, in the second phase of a corner, by collecting and then slamming the ball into the net from close range.
Napoli would concede late on through Maxime Lopez, but a resounding win leaves them on the doorstep of the Champions League – with only a point needed to confirm their qualification.
Elsewhere, Lazio came from behind thrice against a relegation-threatened Spezia before scoring the winner in the 90th minute.
A penalty from Ciro Immobile, an own goal from Ivan Provedel and a fine finish from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic canceled out strikes from Kelvin Amian, Kevin Agudelo, and Petko Hristov.
Defender Francesco Acerbi won the tie for the Biancocelesti just as the clock struck 90, helping them leapfrog rivals AS Roma into fifth place.