Napoli thrashes Udinese to close in on top-four finish in Serie A

Gennaro Gattuso’s side is on 73 points, one above Atalanta and AC Milan and four ahead of fifth-placed Juventus.

Fabian Ruiz ofNapoli celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Udinese at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples, Italy.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Napoli climbed into second place in Serie A and moved a step closer to Champions League qualification with a 5-1 win at home to Udinese on Tuesday.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side is on 73 points, one above Atalanta and AC Milan and four ahead of fifth-placed Juventus.

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However, all three of those teams have the chance to make up ground on Wednesday when they face Benevento, Torino and Sassuolo respectively.

Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso blocked a Victor Osimhen shot from close range after 29 minutes but could do nothing to stop Piotr Zielinski from firing home the rebound.

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Fabian Ruiz doubled the lead two minutes later with a whipped shot into the top corner from edge of the area, but Stefano Okaka pulled one back for the visitor before halftime.

Hirving Lozano pounced on a slack pass from Musso to fire home Napoli’s third after 56 minutes, and the side made it four when Giovanni Di Lorenzo tucked in a close-range finish.

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Lorenzo Insigne was denied by the cross bar with a fierce shot, but eventually got a goal in stoppage time when he volleyed into the bottom corner.

The result extended Napoli’s unbeaten league run to seven games and leaves them in a strong position to seal a top-four finish in its remaining two games of the season against Fiorentina and Hellas Verona.

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