Napoli put on a masterclass to humiliate leaders Atalanta 4-1, Hirving Lozano bagging a brace with Matteo Politano and Victor Osimhen also on target.
The Partenopei gave Tiemoue Bakayoko his debut from the start, with Lorenzo Insigne injured, Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas suffering from COVID-19, but above all they were fired up and furious after being docked a point and given a 3-0 defeat to Juventus for not travelling to Turin. There were big developments for La Dea too, as Josip Ilicic made his comeback from the start, having not played since July 11 due to personal issues.
Hirving Lozano was relishing the new 4-2-3-1 formation and immediately hooked a control and volley just wide, as did Papu Gomez with a curler.
Napoli had by far the better start and took a deserved lead when Giovanni Di Lorenzo put a fine cross in from the right, beyond Victor Osimhen, but finding Lozano for the tap-in from five yards.
Lozano also nodded just wide and scored the second goal moments later. It was chaotic defending from Atalanta, as two defenders collided when trying to anticipate Osimhen, leaving a gap for Lozano to curl a perfect right-foot finish into the far bottom corner from just inside the area.
The hosts were swarming and added a third with Matteo Politano’s rocket, cutting inside from the right to unleash a scorcher into the near top corner.
Osimhen stung Marco Sportiello’s gloves at the near post, but the Nigerian got his first goal in the Napoli jersey thanks to another defensive error from Cristian Romero. He mistimed the jump on a David Ospina goal kick, so Osimhen chested it down, turned and hit it first time into the bottom corner from 20 metres.
Atalanta were utterly dominated, so Gian Piero Gasperini made tactical changes for the second half. It was more even, although largely because Napoli weren’t pressing as furiously, so Marten de Roon drilled wide, but it was Sportiello again forced to make a save on the Mertens half-volley.
Sam Lammers came off the bench and made an immediately difference, threading his finish into the far bottom corner when sent clear by a splendid Romero run from midfield, riding two tackles.
It woke Atalanta up and moments later fellow substitute Ruslan Malinovskyi blasted just wide, while Robin Gosens nodded over. However, Sportiello had to make a good save to prevent Lozano completing his hat-trick with the outside of the boot.