MILAN — Napoli missed the chance to move level with second-placed Roma as it lost 1-0 at Torino in Serie A on Sunday, while Lazio closed in on third place with the race for the final Champions League spot gathering pace.
Kamil Glik scored to boost Torino's chances of qualifying for Europe and ensure Napoli remained three points behind Roma, which plays Italian league leader Juventus on Monday.
"I didn't like the game," a clearly frustrated Rafa Benitez said. "I didn't like the first half, I didn't like other things.
"I'm disappointed to have lost. I didn't like our first-half performance, I liked the second up until the mistake for the goal."
Lazio closed the gap on Napoli to two points with a 3-0 victory at Sassuolo, with goals from Felipe Anderson, Miroslav Klose and Marco Parolo helping the capital club to a third successive win.
Mohamed Salah was on target again as Fiorentina remained a point behind Lazio following a 1-0 victory at Inter Milan, while Sampdoria was three points further back after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Atalanta.
Elsewhere, Cagliari lost a relegation battle 2-1 at home to Hellas Verona, fellow struggler Cesena beat Udinese 1-0 and Palermo drew 0-0 at Empoli.
Parma's match at Genoa was postponed, with the players protesting the situation at the financially-stricken club and the lack of help from the Italian footballing authorities.
It was the second match in a row Parma has postponed and all matches this weekend started 15 minutes late in a show of solidarity with the crisis-hit club.
Napoli came into the match having lost only one of its previous 10 matches in all competition, but Torino was also full of confidence after beating Athletic Bilbao in Spain to also progress to the Europa League round of 16.
Glik netted his sixth league goal of the season in the 68th minute, heading home a corner.
Manolo Gabbiadini curled a trademark free kick off the base of the left upright as Torino held on to stretch its unbeaten run to 12 league matches — its best streak in a season since 1977.
"It's certainly one of the best weeks since I've been at Torino," Glik said. "An important month is ahead of us and we hope it ends well. I think we're in great form now, we're also ready mentally, so we are happy and we'll keep it going."
Sassuolo was struggling of late, losing its past two matches and Lazio broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime. Francesco Acerbi headed out Seydou Keita's cross but only as far as Felipe Anderson, who curled a delightful shot into the top right corner from just outside the area.
The Brazilian was also involved in both Lazio's other goals, with a cross into the box for a Klose header in the 70th minute — shortly after the Germany forward had come off the bench — and a shot which took a series of ricochets before Parolo fired it home.
Both Fiorentina and Inter were in form and full of confidence after progressing in the Europa League midweek. Inter had also won its past three league matches.
Substitute Salah scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes into the second half, following up after Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic fumbled at Manuel Pasqual's cross and only succeeded in parrying it straight to the feet of the Egypt international.
It was Salah's third goal in his four Serie A matches since joining Fiorentina on loan from Chelsea. He also scored midweek against Tottenham Hotspur.
Inter, which had earlier hit the post through Fredy Guarin, went close to the equalizer on several occasions.
Fiorentina ended the match with nine men after Nenad Tomovic and Stefan Savic were stretchered off with injuries.
Sampdoria was looking to reignite its fight for third spot after a run of six matches without a win in all competition. Luis Muriel scored a magnificent goal to cancel out Guglielmo Stendardo's opener before Stefano Okaka secured victory.
Atalanta remained three points above Cagliari and the drop zone.
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