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Cavani treble keeps Napoli rolling

Edinson Cavani hit a hat-trick as SSC Napoli beat UC Sampdoria 4-0 to move back within four points of Serie A leaders AC Milan, on a day when FC Internazionale Milano dug deep for victory.

Edinson Cavani helped himself to a hat-trick for Napoli
Edinson Cavani helped himself to a hat-trick for Napoli ©Getty Images

SSC Napoli moved back within four points of Serie A leaders AC Milan thanks to an Edinson Cavani hat-trick in their 4-0 defeat of UC Sampdoria, while two goals from debutant Giampaolo Pazzini helped FC Internazionale Milano fight back to down US Città di Palermo 3-2.

Cavani struck three times to see off Juventus 3-0 on 9 January and he repeated the feat to go top of the scorers' chart in Italy, burying his second from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time before completing his treble after 56 minutes. Marek Hamšík (48) also notched for the hosts, who moved three points clear of third-placed S.S. Lazio.

Two points behind the capital outfit are Inter, who sent on new signing Pazzini at the interval after finding themselves trailing to first-half efforts by Fabrizio Miccoli and Antonio Nocerino. The newcomer hit his first ten minutes after coming on and headed his second on 73 minutes, after Júlio César had saved a spot kick from Palermo's Javier Pastore. Samuel Eto'o (76) then completed Inter's recovery via a penalty.

Elsewhere, fifth-placed AS Roma's game at Bologna FC was abandoned due to snow, while bottom side AS Bari lost 2-1 at Cagliari Calcio and second-bottom Brescia Calcio went down 3-0 at home against AC Chievo Verona. Udinese Calcio triumphed 2-1 at Juventus, Genoa CFC saw off Parma FC 3-1 and struggling duo US Lecce and AC Cesena drew 1-1.

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