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Leagues: Serie A

Napoli beat Torino to consolidate third spot in Serie A

Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Napoli strengthened their hold on third place in Serie A on Saturday, beating Torino 1-0 to keep Juventus at bay.

Luciano Spalletti’s side took advantage of fourth-placed Juve’s shock 2-1 loss at Genoa on Friday to move four points ahead with two matches left to play.

Fabian Ruiz’s strike in the 73rd minute secured the points for Napoli after Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty was saved by Etrit Berisha just after the hour mark.

Napoli have already qualified for next season’s Champions League but will want to finish as high as possible after their bid to claim a first league title in over 30 years faltered in the final weeks of the campaign.

“We managed to qualify for the Champions League, a huge goal, and some people don’t seem to understand that,” Spalletti told DAZN. 

“We should get some credit for what we’ve achieved this season.”

Southern Italy’s biggest club last won the league in 1990, when Diego Maradona was still strutting his stuff, and topped the table on several occasions this season.

Two awful defeats to Fiorentina and Empoli — and a home draw with Roma — in April crushed their title hopes, even though mathematically they could still win the Scudetto.

They are five points behind leaders Inter Milan who claimed top spot on Friday with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Empoli, but can be finally ruled out of the race by AC Milan on Sunday.

Seven-time European champions Milan are at Verona and will regain the summit with either a win or a draw at the Stadio Bentegodi.

The defeat meant little for Torino, who stay 10th and are playing for pride.

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