Marek Hamsik moved closer to Diego Maradona's scoring record as Napoli stayed top of Serie A with a 3-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday as Inter Milan pulled level on points with Juventus.
Napoli clear at top of Seria A
The pressure shifted onto Juventus who travelled to Atalanta later on Sunday with the champions looking to match Napoli's unblemished seven wins in as many games. Despite taking a two goal lead, the game finished 2-2 leaving Napoli alone at the Serie A summit.
Skipper Hamsik opened the scoring for Napoli after just four minutes at the Stadio San Paolo with his first goal of the season and 114th for the club, just one short of Maradona's all-time record. Dries Mertens contributed to the opener and then added a second from the spot on 40 minutes before Kalidou Koulibaly sealed the perfect seventh victory two minutes after the break.
Maradona record in sight for Hamsik
'Scoring is always great, I'm near Maradona's record, now we know it will come, but what matters is the team's performance. Seven wins from seven means a lot, and today we enjoyed the fans. October will be decisive,' said Slovak international Hamsik.
Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri conceded he was relieved after coming through the early afternoon match in a week when they earned their first Champions League points with a 3-1 win over Feyenoord. But he dismissed premature talk of challenging for the title.
'Its been six years that I've heard talk that we can bother Juventus but in the end they're the ones who win,' said Sarri. 'That means they are a level above everyone else.'
For Cagliari it was a fifth loss in seven games as they stay 14th with just six points.
Seria A round-up
Marcelo Brozovic scored a quick-fire first half brace as Inter moved provisionally second on 19 points after a tight win at tailenders Benevento. Brozovic headed home an Antonio Candreva cross after 19 minutes with his second, a free kick, coming three minutes later.
Marco D'Alessandro got one back just before the break and missed a chance for an equaliser.
Lazio confirmed their push for Champions League football with a 6-1 hammering of Sassuolo to sit fourth. Ciro Immobile scored his ninth goal of the campaign from the spot with Luis Alberto and Marco Parolo both hitting braces either side of a Stefan de Vrij header.
Just behind Lazio, AC Milan and Roma went head to head at the San Siro on Sunday afternoon and goals in the 71st and 76th minutes from Dzeko and Florenzi respectively gave the capital side the away win, and a point behind their neighbours.
Torino move into sixth but were held to a shock 2-2 draw by ten-man Verona despite being two goals up until the 89th minute.
Torino striker Andrea Belotti picked up a knee injury and despite being reduced to ten late on when Bruno Zuculini was sent off, the visitors netted through Moise Kean before Giampaolo Pazzini equalised from the spot in injury time.
Simy grabbed a 1-1 away draw for Crotone at fellow strugglers SPAL after Alberto Paloschi opened for the hosts.
Ten-man Sampdoria fell to a first defeat of the season, a 4-0 rout at Udinese, who scored three goals from the spot on Saturday.
And so it came down to the game between Atalanta and Juventus to complete the look of the top of table and after goals from Federico Bernardeschi and Gonzalo Higuain put Juve two up after 23 minutes few were predicting anything but a win for the reigning champions. But Caldara (30) and Cristanti (66) meant it was a share of the points.