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Kvaratskhelia magic moves champions-elect Napoli 18 points clear

Napoli forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (centre) celebrates with Victor Osimhen after scoring against Atalanta. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia helped move Napoli another step closer to a first Serie A title in more than three decades with a wonder goal in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Atalanta which pushed his team 18 points clear.

Georgia winger Kvaratskhelia lashed in the opening goal of the game on the hour mark after spellbinding dribbling left Atalanta’s defence wondering which way to look before the ball finished in the back of the net.

His 11th league strike of the campaign set Napoli on their way to stretching their lead on Inter Milan who fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Spezia on Friday.

Amir Rrahmani made sure of the points with 13 minutes remaining with a towering header from substitute Eljif Elmas’ corner.

Lazio can cut the yawning gap between Napoli and the rest to 17 if they win at Bologna in Saturday’s late match and take second spot. 

But it’s surely only a matter of time until southern Italy’s biggest club win the Scudetto for the first time since 1990, when Diego Maradona was still strutting his stuff in sight of Mount Vesuvius.

Napoli now turn their attentions to the visit of Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday, a 2-0 first-leg lead to protect and a debut spot in the Champions League quarter-finals within their grasp.

Defeat will likely damage Atalanta’s bid for Europe’s top club competition as they stay sixth and five points behind the top four.

Roma sit fourth and host Sassuolo on Sunday while AC Milan, who are fifth and level on 47 points with Jose Mourinho’s team, have struggling Salernitana at the San Siro on Monday.

Earlier Udinese snapped a six-match winless streak with a 1-0 victory at Empoli.

Andrea Sottil’s team are ninth on 35 points, level with Bologna and Juventus, after just their second win since the start of October.

Empoli stay 14th but are 10 points above Verona who are just inside the relegation zone and host Monza on Sunday.

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