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Lazio hand Serie A leaders Napoli rare defeat

Matias Vecino’s brilliant long-range strike earned Lazio a 1-0 win at Napoli on Friday as the runaway Serie A leaders lost for only the second time in the league this season.

The Uruguay midfielder drilled in the winner on 67 minutes, unleashing a thumping half-volley from 25 yards to send Lazio up to second but still 17 points behind Napoli.

Vecino had gone close to scoring at the start when he glanced Luis Alberto’s free-kick towards goal only for Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo to head over from under his own crossbar.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa saw his drive from distance deflected just over for Napoli, who had won eight in a row and 19 of their last 20 in Serie A — a run that began with a 2-1 victory away to Lazio in September.

Victor Osimhen, the league’s top scorer with 19 goals, headed powerfully against the bar from a Khvicha Kvaratskhelia cross and Ivan Provedel produced a terrific stop to keep out the rebound from Kim Min-jae.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic grazed the crossbar with a free-kick late on for Lazio, who climbed above both Milan clubs courtesy of a third successive victory.

It is only the fourth time in 25 Serie A this season that Napoli have failed to win.

They remain overwhelming favourites for the title — their first since 1990 — but still have to play Atalanta, AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan.

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