Four goals in the first 21 minutes guided Napoli to a 6-1 thumping of Sassuolo on Saturday, closing the distance on Serie A leaders AC Milan to four points.
With two losses in their past three matches, Napoli has fallen behind Milan as the season comes to a conclusion, making a victory against mid-table Sassuolo crucial if Spalletti’s club is to win their first Scudetto since 1990 this season.
The triumph, on the other hand, was never in question, as two headers from corners by defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Victor Osimhen put the hosts up 2-0 within 15 minutes at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Hirving Lozano’s tap-in and a magnificent Dries Mertens finish made it 4-0 before the clock had struck 21, and Sassuolo was on its way to a humiliating loss.
It took until the 54th minute for Napoli to score the fifth goal, as Mertens got his second of the game, with Amir Rrahmani completing the rout 10 minutes from time.
Maxime Lopez’s late consolation for the visitors was insignificant as Napoli advanced to 70 points, four behind Milan, who play Fiorentina on Sunday. Sassuolo remains in tenth place with 46 points.