Jose Callejon played a starring role as Napoli came from behind to thump Lazio 4-1 and return to the top of Serie A.
Maurizio Sarri’s side had been temporarily replaced as leaders courtesy of Juventus’ 2-0 win over Fiorentina 24 hours earlier, but bounced back from falling behind after just three minutes on Saturday to reclaim top spot with their eighth league win in succession.
Napoli cancelled out Stefan de Vrij’s opener through Callejon two minutes before half-time and went on to dominate thereafter, despite head coach Sarri being sent to the stands amid a tempestuous end to the opening period of his 100th game in charge.
The only downside for the hosts was an apparent injury scare for Marek Hamsik, who did not emerge for the second half.
De Vrij opened the scoring when he got a faint touch to Ciro Immobile’s right-wing cross, but Napoli drew level when Callejon timed his run perfectly to latch on to Jorginho’s lofted throughball and finished coolly.
Despite Sarri being banished from the touchline and Hamsik’s exit from proceedings, Napoli then seized control after the break with two goals in the space of three minutes.
Wallace put through his own net following Callejon’s inviting low cross from the right, before Mario Rui’s low strike deflected in off Piotr Zielinski, Hamsik’s replacement.
Zielinski also laid on a superb fourth for Dries Mertens with 17 minutes remaining, at the end of a glorious team move, with Napoli rampant as they regained a one-point advantage over Juve and moved 17 points clear of third-placed Lazio.