Napoli beat 10-man Sampdoria to boost title hopes
Napoli emerged triumphant from a festival of goals at Sampdoria to pull five points clear at the top of the Serie A table after a 4-2 victory.
Gonzalo Higuain resumed his bid for the Capocannoniere award with the first goal of six at the Marassi, with Lorenzo Insigne, Marek Hamsik and substitute Dries Mertens also notching for Napoli.
Samp, who lost Mattia Cassani to a red card after the break, provided plenty of solace for the home fans as Joaquin Correa and Eder kept the southerners on their toes with deficit-slashing strikes.
After just nine minutes in Genoa, Higuain reached 21 goals for the season after seizing on Edgar Barreto's poor backpass.
The Azzurri were 2-0 up in the 18th minute thanks to Insigne, who coolly converted a penalty after Barreto brought Raul Albiol down in the Samp box.
Correa ensured the game would be a contest in the second half by notching from a one-on-one with Jose Reina on the stroke of half-time.
The tide turned against Samp once again when Cassani was dismissed for a second yellow-card offence before the hour mark - Napoli pounced quickly.
It was Hamsik who slalomed through the Blucerchiati defence before finishing with aplomb.
Samp were not giving up, though, and in the 73rd minute Eder beat Reina with a powerful header.
'We'll score one more than you' remains Napoli's motto this term, and substitute Mertens put daylight between the teams with a deft left-footed strike 11 minutes from time.