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Napoli win to go second as Inter crash at Parma

Inter’s Walter Samuel in an aerial duel with Jonathan Biabiany.

Inter’s Walter Samuel in an aerial duel with Jonathan Biabiany.

A second-half goal from Marek Hamsik took Napoli up to second in Serie A, just two points behind league leaders Juventus, thanks to a 1-0 win at Cagliari.

Walter Mazzarri’s side struggled to impress and, after hitting the post early on, the Partenopei spent most of the time defending.

Cagliari hit the woodwork twice and looked more likely to score until Hamsik pounced on a loose ball to earn the visitors all three points and take them above Inter and Fiorentina.

There was no such joy for Inter who suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat to Parma at the Tardini Stadium in the other match played yesterday.

A wonderful second half strike from Nicola Sansone gave the three points to Parma who moved up to seventh in the standings.

In Sardinia, Lorenzo Insigne rattled the post at the end of a rare Napoli attack in the 21st minute, but Cagliari were largely the livelier of the two teams in the first half.

A good cross-field ball to Thiago Ribeiro set him up for a good chance in the 31st minute, but he could not keep up with the pace and his shot was weak and off target.

At the other end, Blerim Dzemaili picked out Insigne and he cut back inside a defender but shot wide of the near post.

Alessandro Gamberini almost gave Napoli the lead when he diverted a corner against his own post.

Cagliari started the second half brightly with Radja Nainggolan cutting in from the left, but his shot was straight at De Sanctis.

Paolo Cannavaro was the next Napoli player to almost put through his own goal in the 48th minute with the ball hitting the top of the bar before Nainggolan volleyed wide.

A goalmouth scramble saw Michael Agazzi called into action twice on the hour mark before Hamsik put Napoli ahead with a rare attack in the 72nd minute.

Juan Zuniga put pressure on Albin Ekdal, who nudged the ball inadvertently to Hamsik to curl into the far corner from eight yards.

Inter were once again off colour, losing for the second time in three games since beating Juve 3-1 in Turin.

It was an indication of what was to come when Walter Samuel almost turned a cross into his own goal in the fourth minute, but Samir Handanovic was alert to the danger.

Parma had no fear and continued to attack their opponents, whose only shot in the first half came from Esteban Cambiasso, but the ball was blocked on the line.

Jonathan Biabiany was particularly inspired against his former club and his shot in the 44th minute flew just wide. Five minutes into the second half, he flicked a header just wide of the far post as Parma continued to dictate affairs.

Parma gained a deserved winner in the 75th minute when Sansone picked up possession inside his own half and set off on a 30-yard run which culminated in a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

  P W D L F A Pts
Juventus 14 10 2 2 29 10 32
Napoli 14 9 3 2 23 11 30
Fiorentina 14 8 4 2 25 12 28
Inter 14 9 1 4 26 16 28
Lazio 13 7 2 4 19 17 23
Roma 14 7 2 5 31 23 23
Parma 14 5 5 4 17 18 20
Catania 14 5 4 5 18 20 19
Milan 14 5 3 6 21 18 18
Atalanta (-2) 14 6 2 6 14 20 18
Udinese 13 3 7 3 18 20 16
Sampdoria (-1) 14 5 2 7 17 19 16
Cagliari 14 4 4 6 13 20 16
Torino (-1) 14 3 7 4 15 14 15
Palermo 14 3 5 6 14 21 14
Genoa 14 3 3 8 14 22 12
Chievo 14 3 3 8 13 25 12
Siena (-6) 14 4 5 5 13 14 11
Bologna 14 3 2 9 15 19 11
Pescara 14 3 2 9 9 25 11

Playing today: 20.45 Lazio vs Udinese.

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