Cavani draws another blank

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IOL pic feb26 soccer cavani

Associated Press

Napoli's Edinson Cavani (right) and Udinese's Larangeira Danilo battle for the ball during their Serie A soccer match at the Friuli Stadium in Udine, Italy, on Monday.

Milan - Serie A's top marksman Edinson Cavani failed to score for the fourth league game in a row as fading Napoli lost further ground on leaders Juventus with a goalless draw at Udinese on Monday.

Lazio dislodged AC Milan and moved into third place thanks to two spectacular long-range goals in a 2-0 win over lowly Pescara.

Stefan Radu put Lazio ahead in the 29th minute when the ball was laid back and the Romanian unleashed a left-foot first-time shot of incredible power which swerved inside the near post, his first Serie A goal in four-and-a-half seasons with Lazio.

Six minutes later, Senad Lulic added the second with an effort which was almost as good, the Bosnian scoring with a dipping effort from 30 metres.

Napoli's third draw in succession meant they were left six points behind Juventus, who easily beat Siena 3-0 on Sunday.

Walter Mazzarri's side have mustered only one goal in those three games, a run which has coincided with a drought for Uruguay forward Cavani who had averaged over a goal a game in all competitions until the end of January.

Cavani remains stuck on 18 goals.

Second-placed Napoli have 52 points from 26 games and host Juventus on Friday evening in what could be their last chance to keep the title race alive. Lazio have 47, two ahead of Milan.

Cavani missed an early chance when he just failed to connect with Giandomenico Mesto's cross at the near post while Marek Hamsik wasted the best first-half opening when he headed straight at goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.

The best second-half chance fell to Cavani but he poked the ball wide from six metres under pressure after Pablo Armero had broken down the left.

Mazzarri said he was heartened by his side's performance.

“I get annoyed when things go badly, but today I congratulated the lads because they did well,” he told reporters. “We created a lot of openings.”

“Cavani played well today but there are moments when it doesn't work out for you.” - Reuters


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