Lazio and Napoli stumble again

Lazio and Napoli's European hopes for next season were hit as both sides failed to win for the sixth Italian league game in a row yesterday. Lazio were held by lowly Torino 1-1 at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, while Napoli allowed Bologna to leave their Stadio San Paolo with a point.

The draws mean European qualification is slipping away from both sides. Both Lazio and Napoli had begun the season well and led the league at various stages during its early weeks. Yesterday's point did, at least, end a run of four straight defeats for Delio Rossi's Lazio, after Sebastiano Siviglia equalised for the hosts following Ignazio Abate's first-half opener.

Abate opened the scoring on 36 minutes with a shot from distance, after French midfielder Olivier Dabo had lost the ball in midfield. But 15 minutes from time, Siviglia headed home a cross from Stefano Mauri to salvage a share of the spoils.

In an otherwise uninspiring match, the biggest drama came a few minutes into the second half when referee Massimiliano Saccani was knocked flat by a fierce shot from Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov. Saccani stayed motionless on the turf for a couple of minutes before getting up to continue with the match. Torino stayed third from bottom after their fifth draw in a row.

In Naples, Cristian Maggio opened the scoring for the hosts after good work from Argentinians Ezequiel Lavezzi and German Denis on 20 minutes. But the lead lasted only three minutes before Serie A top scorer Marco Di Vaio pounced on a defensive mix-up to slot home his 16th league goal of the season.