Napoli stretch winless run at Udinese, Atalanta edge Verona

Napoli Carlo Ancelotti said had not thought about resigning despite his side stretching their winless run to seven league games

Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Coach Carlo Ancelotti ruled out resigning from his position as Napoli stretched their winless run to seven Serie A games with a 1-1 draw at struggling Udinese on Saturday.

Kevin Lasagna scored for the north-easterners after 32 minutes, picking up a Seko Fofana cross after the Ivorian beat defender Kalidou Koulibaly, to beat Alex Meret in the Napoli goal.

But Piotr Zielinski pulled the visitors level after 69 minutes as the southerners held on for just their fifth point in their last seven games.

Ancelotti’s side are seventh in the league — 17 points behind leaders Inter Milan — and will bid to seal a Champions League last 16 berth at home against Genk next week. 

“If I thought of resignation? No, I feel more involved now than when things were going well,” said Ancelotti. 

“In football you know, when you do well it’s the players’ merit, while when you go wrong it’s the coach’s fault. 

“So I feel involved in the project especially at this moment.

“In the second half there was a reaction, above all attitude,” he stressed.

“It’s a positive signal because the game was going badly. 

“I would like to say the negative period is behind us, but it isn’t. 

“We need a spark and hopefully that can be next week in the Champions League.”

– Atlanta comeback –

Berat Djimsiti grabbed a late winner as Atalanta came from behind twice to seal a 3-2 victory over 10-man Verona and stay in touch with the Champions League places.

Atalanta are sixth, one point behind fourth-placed Roma, who occupy the final Champions League berth after their goalless draw at Inter Milan on Friday.

But the hosts were pushed hard by Verona, coached by Croatian Ivan Juric, a former player and assistant manager to Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini at Genoa.

Italian forward Samuel Di Carmine fired the visitors ahead after 23 minutes, and completed his brace after 57 minutes.

Atalanta forward Josip Ilicic limped off with a muscle injury with Ruslan Malinovskyi coming on for the hosts after half an hour.

The Ukrainian pulled a goal back for the Bergamo side before the break, with Luis Muriel getting the equaliser from the penalty spot after 64 minutes.

Verona went a man down when Pawel Dawidowicz was sent off for a second yellow card five minutes from time.

Albanian defender Djimsiti pounced on a Rafael Toloi cross to volley in his first goal this season three minutes into injury time, a timely boost ahead of next week’s Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Champions Juventus, who are two points behind Inter, can reclaim top spot when Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten side head south to take on in-form Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

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