They had to work for it, but in the end Napoli got the win they needed against Empoli to make it ten straight victories in Serie A.
After a cagey opening period in which chances were hard to come by, the Azzurri made the breakthrough midway through the second half when Victor Osimhen's pace in the box earned a penalty and Hirving Lozano – fresh off the bench – converted to make it 1-0.
The Mexican helped wrap up the points late on when he put in a fine delivery for Piotr Zielinksi to volley home with panache.
Two goals and three points consolidate top spot going into the final game before the World Cup break. On Saturday the Azzurri will attempt to make it 11 on the spin when Udinese visit the Maradona...
Napoli 2-0 Empoli (HT 0-0)
Scorers: Lozano 69 (pen), Zielinski 88.
NAPOLI: Meret, Di Lorenzo, Ostigard, Kim, Mario Rui, Anguissa, Lobotka (Demme 90), Ndombele (Zielinski 64), Politano (Lozano 64), Raspadori (Elmas 64), Osimhen (Simeone 90).
EMPOLI: Vicario; Stojanovic, Ismajli, Luperto, Parisi, Haas (Akpa 59), Marin (Ekong 85), Bandinelli (Grassi 73), Baldanzi (Handerson 73), Bajrami, Satriano (Lammers 59).
Referee: Pairetto (Turin).
Booked: Bandinelli, Satriano, Ostigard, Parisi.
Sent off: Luperto 74 (second yellow).