Cavani strikes again, Icardi hits four for Samp

MILAN Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:50pm IST

Napoli's Edinson Cavani (2nd R) heads to score against Fiorentina's goalkeeper Norberto Neto during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the A. Franchi stadium in Florence January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Giorgio Benvenuti

Napoli's Edinson Cavani (2nd R) heads to score against Fiorentina's goalkeeper Norberto Neto during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the A. Franchi stadium in Florence January 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Giorgio Benvenuti

MILAN (Reuters) - Edinson Cavani struck again to give Napoli a late 2-1 win at Parma and breathe new life into their Serie A challenge on Sunday while Argentine teenager Mauro Icardi hit four goals in Sampdoria's 6-0 rout of lowly Pescara.

Cavani had endured a frustrating afternoon until he hit his 18th goal of the season in the 84th minute to end Parma's unbeaten home record and leave Napoli three points behind leaders Juventus, who drew 1-1 with Genoa on Saturday.

AS Roma lived up to their reputation as Serie A's most entertaining side in another high-scoring game, this time drawing 3-3 at Bologna.

Eighth-placed Roma, who have the best attacking and second-worst defensive record in the league, twice led in the first half and trailed 3-2 early in the second before Panagiotis Tachtsidis gave them a point.

Stephan El Shaaraway scored his 15th goal of the season to hand AC Milan a 1-0 win at 10-man Atalanta, moving them up to fifth place with 37 points.

Milan are one point ahead of fading Fiorentina who lost 2-1 to an 88th-minute Lucas Castro goal at Catania.

Thiago Ribeiro headed a controversial 90th-minute equaliser for Cagliari in a 1-1 draw at home to Palermo in their relegation battle.

Palermo, one off the bottom in 19th place, were furious, claiming the throw-in in the run-up to Cagliari's goal should have been awarded to them.

Fabrizio Miccoli and coach Gian Piero Gasperini were sent off for protesting from the substitutes' bench.

Udinese beat bottom club Siena 1-0 in the other game.

WORK HARD

Second-placed Napoli's victory at Parma took them to 46 points from 22 games, three behind Juventus and three clear of Lazio who lost at home to Chievo on Saturday.

"Parma are a great side who work hard and never give up," Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said. "We are extremely satisfied with this fundamental victory.

"We are going way beyond expectations but we must also remember that every game in Italy is truly complicated."

Napoli went ahead in the 20th minute when Marek Hamsik sprang the offside trap to poke the ball past Antonio Mirante.

Uruguay forward Cavani was having little joy as he misplaced a header and then mistimed a run on to a through-ball which would have left him with only Mirante to beat just before the break.

Napoli conceded a sloppy equaliser in the 74th minute when Nicola Sansone's cross deflected off Paolo Cannavaro and found its way between Morgan De Sanctis and the near post.

Cavani wasted another chance when he scuffed a shot after being set free but made amends two minutes later when he broke clear of the Parma defender, easily rounded Mirante and scored into an empty net.

An Eder penalty opened the floodgates for Sampdoria just after the half hour and Icardi opened his account four minutes before halftime.

Pedro Obiang scored five minutes after the break before Icardi grabbed a 16-minute hat-trick, to add to his two goals in the 2-1 win over Juventus earlier in the month.

Alessandro Florenzi side-footed Roma ahead in the ninth minute from Francesco Totti's pass and former Milan and Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino levelled eight minutes later for Bologna.

Pablo Osvaldo headed Roma back in front with his 11th goal of the season but Manolo Gabbiadini hauled Bologna level again before the half-hour.

Bologna, who won 3-2 at Roma earlier in the season, went ahead for the first time nine minutes after the break when Cristian Pasquato took advantage of a mix-up in the Roma defence before Tachtsidis headed in a free kick in the 74th minute.

The action continued until the final whistle with Alessandro Diamanti twice striking the woodwork for Bologna.

Fourth-placed Inter Milan host Torino in the late game.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Mark Meadows and Sonia Oxley)

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