Napoli moves back into title contention with win

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Associated Press

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 6:04 AM

ROME (AP) — Napoli moved back into title contention with a 1-0 win at Cagliari on Monday, placing the southern club two points behind Italian league leader Juventus.

With Napoli's leading scorer Edinson Cavani suspended and fellow forward Goran Pandev out injured, Marek Hamsik found the target in the 72nd minute with an angled shot from inside the area to finish off an action began by Lorenzo Insigne, who also hit the post in the first half.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan wasted a chance to move within one point of the lead with a 1-0 loss at Parma, where Nicola Sansone put the hosts in front with an impressive solo action in the 75th.

Inter sorely missed the creativity of Antonio Cassano, who is serving a two-match ban for insulting the referee. Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni was also banned.

Juventus, which lost 1-0 to AC Milan on Sunday, leads with 32 points. Napoli is next with 30 and Fiorentina and Inter have 28 each, leaving four clubs within four points of each other at the top of the table.

Napoli is attempting to win Serie A for the first time since Diego Maradona led the club to titles in 1987 and 1990.

"We're nine points ahead compared to last season and we've advanced in the Europa League with a match to spare. I can't ask for anything more from these guys," Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said. "Tonight, too, despite the absences, we had a great performance. ... We really showed our maturity, but we're going to continue taking it game by game."

Parma is seventh and Cagliari is tied for 11th.

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MADRID (AP) — A late goal by striker Iago Aspas gave Celta Vigo a 1-0 victory against Real Zaragoza on Monday in the Spanish league.

Aspas connected with a cross from left back Roberto Lago to beat goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez in the 83rd minute.

Celta goalkeeper Javier Varas had been forced to save twice in the 46th minute, first from a powerful shot by Zaragoza forward Victor Rodriguez and then a header by striker Helder Postiga.

Aspas came close to having a brace but his left-foot shot was saved by goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez diving rapidly to his right in the 71st.

Celta rises to 15th place after 13 matches while Zaragoza remains 13th in the standings. League leader Barcelona is on 37 points followed by Atletico Madrid with 34.

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