Classy Cavani rampages in Rome
Edinson Cavani scored twice in the second half to win 2-0 as Napoli ended Roma's unbeaten run this season at the Stadio Olimpico. Cavani converted from the penalty spot in the 49th minute after Roma defender Juan had brought down Marek Hamsik inside the area. The Uruguay forward then put the game beyond Roma's reach with seven minutes remaining.
The result allowed Napoli to keep up the pressure on Serie A leaders AC Milan while it has dented Roma's scudetto ambitions. Napoli lie second, three points behind Milan, who beat Parma 4-0 earlier today. Roma, meanwhile, have dropped 13 points behind the Rossoneri.
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri sprang a surprise by leaving captain Francesco Totti out of the starting XI, instead fielding Mirko Vucinic alongside Marco Borriello. Totti had missed last weekend's 5-3 defeat at Inter Milan through suspension.
Napoli went into the match inspired by Sunday's 2-0 triumph over Cesena, but it was Roma that had the better start and they missed an early chance when Daniele De Rossi fired wide from the six-yard box. Shortly after, Vucinic's left-footed shot from the heart of the area was turned away by visiting goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.
Before the half-hour mark, Roma goalkeeper Julio Sergio kept out Walter Gargano's 30-yard effort in what was his first save of the evening. Napoli twice had the chance to break the deadlock before the break, but Cavani and Andrea Dossena saw their long-range shots go wide.
Napoli kept up the pressure after the restart and were rewarded four minutes later. Referee Mauro Bergonzi pointed to the penalty spot after Juan had fouled Hamsik. Cavani stepped up to take the spot-kick and beat Julio Sergio, narrowly crossing the line after hitting theside of the post, to silence the home crowd.
Roma reacted immediately and Menez's powerful strike from outside the area forced De Sanctis to dive to his right to clear. In the 75th minute, Borriello missed a great chance when his powerful header from Fabio Simplicio's cross found the stand.
And as the clock ticked down, Walter Mazzarri's men doubled their lead. Centre-back Paolo Cannavaro fed Cavani with an inch-perfect cross inside the area and his right-footed strike beat Julio Sergio.