MILAN (Reuters) – Juventus thumped Chievo 4-0 away to win their 12th Serie A game in a row on Sunday but it was not enough to topple leaders Napoli who thrashed Empoli 5-1, helped by Gonzalo Higuain’s 22nd goal of the season.
Jose Callejon scored twice while Lorenzo Insigne and an own goal by Michele Camporese completed the rout as Napoli reached the 50-goal mark in their 22nd game to stay on course for their first Serie A title since 1990.
Alvaro Morata scored twice in the first half at Chievo and second-half goals from Alex Sandro and Paul Pogba gave
Juventus their second successive 4-0 win away from home.
Fiorentina lost ground when they drew 0-0 at Genoa and bottom club Verona remained winless after a goalless stalemate at Torino.
Udinese’s match at home to Lazio also ended 0-0 while Mattia Destro scored an 88th minute winner to give Bologna a 3-2 win over struggling Sampdoria whose fightback from two goals behind was in vain.
Napoli lead with 50 points from 22 games, two ahead of Juventus with Fiorentina a further six behind in third.
Inter Milan, who face neighbours AC Milan in the evening match, are fourth with 41 points.
Higuain was denied an early goal when Empoli goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski superbly turned away his rising close-range shot after Insigne had pulled the ball back.
Instead, Empoli stunned the San Paulo when Leandro Paredes’ long-range shot took a deflection and flew into the net in the 28th minute.
Napoli, with coach Maurizio Sarri facing his former club, trailed for five minutes until Insigne lofted the ball into the area and Higuain headed in to keep up his goal-a-game average.
Four minutes later, Insigne scored with a curling free kick into the top corner to take his own tally to 10.
Camporese diverted Callejon’s low cross into his own net seven minutes into the second half and Callejon added two more in the last 10 minutes as Empoli went to pieces and Napoli won their sixth league game in a row.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Martyn Herman)