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International Soccer - Italy

Napoli closes gap with Fiorentina defeat

Florence, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Napoli closed to within two points of the top spot in Serie A on Wednesday after hanging on to claim a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Naopli entered the match coming off a comfortable 2-0 win over Torino on Sunday and wasted little time finding the back of the net as Jose Callejon scored in the 12th minute of play.

Things became more difficult for the visitors in the 28th minute as Christian Maggio was shown a straight red card and Giuseppe Rossi dispatched the ensuing penalty kick to put the sides on level terms.

But Napoli regained the lead despite being a man down when Dries Mertens scored nine minutes prior to the intermission.

Fiorentina sent numbers forward at home in search of an equalizer, but Juan Cuadrado was sent off in stoppage time as Napoli held on to claim all three points.

The result sees Fiorentina drop to sixth in Serie A on 18 points.

Elsewhere in Italy on Wednesday, Lazio and AC Milan played to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro. After a scoreless opening half, Kaka got the hosts on the board in the 54th minute, but it was canceled out by a 72nd minute goal from Michael Ciani.

Defending champions Juventus pulled even with Napoli on points after cruising to a 4-0 thrashing of Catania. Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo scored first-half goals and Carlos Tevez and Leonardo Bonucci finished the rout with goals in the second 45 minutes.

Bologna rolled to an easy 3-0 win over 10-man Cagliari at the Stadio Sant'Elia. Gyorgy Garics, Panagiotis Kone and Michele Pazienza collected goals in the club's second win of the season.

Alberto Gilardino netted the only goal of the contest three minutes prior to the hour mark to lift Genoa to a 1-0 win over Parma, while Gomez and Luca Toni scored for Hellas Verona in a 2-0 victory against Sampdoria.

Livorno and Torino battled to a wild 3-3 stalemate at the Stadio Armando Picchi. Ciro Immobile and Kamil Glik gave Torino a quick 2-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes, but Livorno answered with three unanswered goals from Paulo Betanin, Leandro Greco and Emerson. Torino grabbed an equalizer three minutes from time, however, through a penalty strike from Alessio Cerci as the clubs shared the points.

In Wednesday's final Serie A fixture, Udinese held on for a 2-1 win over Sassuolo at the Stadio Alberto Braglia. Antonio Di Natale opened the scoring with an 18th-minute penalty, but Simone Zaza equalized in the 25th minute before Luis Muriel scored the winner in the 56th minute.

10/30 18:06:15 ET

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