Napoli bolsters Champions League chances with rout of Udinese

Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne, left, celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Udinese, at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples, Italy, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Fabrizio Corradetti/LaPresse via AP)

NAPLES, Italy – Napoli boosted its chances of qualifying for the Champions League by routing Udinese 5-1 on Tuesday to move into second place in Serie A.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side moved a point ahead of Atalanta and AC Milan, with Juventus four points further back. Those three teams play on Wednesday and there are then two rounds remaining.

The top four from Serie A qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Napoli dominated from the start and Piotr Zielinski opened the scoring in the 28th minute, firing home a rebound after a Juan Musso save on Victor Osimhen, before setting up a second for Fabian Ruiz three minutes later.

Stefano Okaka pulled one back for mid-table Udinese shortly before halftime but Hirving Lozano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo extended Napoli’s advantage after the break.

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne hit the woodwork late on but got his goal in stoppage time as he controlled an attempted clearance with his chest before firing powerfully into the bottom corner.

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