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Cavani hat-trick moves Napoli level with Serie A leaders Juventus

updated 7:17 PM EDT, Wed September 26, 2012
Edinson Cavani celebrates one of his three goals as Napoli beat Lazio 3-0 in the Stadio San Paolo to join Juventus atop Serie A
Edinson Cavani celebrates one of his three goals as Napoli beat Lazio 3-0 in the Stadio San Paolo to join Juventus atop Serie A
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Napoli beat visitors Lazio 3-0 to go joint top of Serie A with reigning champions Juventus
  • Edinson Cavani strikes a hat-trick to take his season's league tally to five, one more than Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic
  • AC Milan relieve pressure on coach Massimiliano Allegri with a 2-0 win at home to Cagliari
  • In Spain, Atletico Madrid win 4-2 at Real Betis to go second in La Liga and six points clear of city rivals Real

(CNN) -- Napoli joined Juventus at the top of Italy's Serie A after an Edinson Cavani hat-trick blew away Lazio in a 3-0 victory at the Stadio San Paolo.

The hosts' fourth win in five league games takes them to 13 points, with only a missed penalty from Cavani denying Walter Mazzarri's side from taking top spot outright in the Italian championship.

The Uruguayan became the league's top scorer with five goals after racing to his hat-trick in just over an hour but he blazed a 75th minute spot-kick over the bar.

Napoli, who remain unbeaten, now share an identical record of eleven goals scored and two conceded with reigning champions Juventus, who drew 0-0 at Fiorentina on Tuesday.

Lazio -- whose German striker Miroslav Klose earned praise after admitting to match officials that he had used his hand when bundling the ball home early on -- suffered their second loss in as many games after starting their campaign with three straight wins.

Meanwhile, AC Milan relieved some of the pressure on embattled coach Massimiliano Allegri when beating ten-man Cagliari 2-0 at the San Siro to move tenth in the table.

Allegri watched from the sidelines as he served a touchline ban issued after he made heated protests to officials during Sunday's defeat at Udinese but he would have been delighted to see striker Stephan El Shaarawy grab a double -- and was further boosted by the return of Brazil's Robinho after a month-long injury.

Both Allegri and Milan went into the game knowing that a win was imperative after defeats in their opening games at the San Siro stadium -- against Sampdoria and Atalanta -- had led to the club's worst home start to a season in over 80 years.

The win also meant that one of Milan and Inter, who share the San Siro, had finally won a game -- at the tenth time of asking -- after the installation of a new partially-synthetic pitch over the summer.

Having suffered a shock home defeat against Siena on Sunday, Inter responded by moving up to fourth after winning 2-0 at Chievo, thanks to goals from Alvaro Pereira and Antonio Cassano.

In the Italian capital, Sampdoria protected their unbeaten record as they recovered from going behind to a first half Francesco Totti goal to draw 1-1 at Roma and take third spot, three points behind the leaders.

Elsewhere, Catania beat Atalanta 2-1, Geno drew 1-1 with Parma, Torino and Udinese played out a goalless draw while Pescara beat ten-man Palermo 1-0 thanks to a late strike from Wladimir Weiss.

There was just one game in Spain where Atletico Madrid went second in La Liga, and six points clear of city rivals Real, after winning 4-2 at Real Betis.

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao scored twice to overtake Lionel Messi at the top of La Liga's scoring charts, with Atletico's thirteen points now just two fewer than Barcelona.

In Germany, Szabolcs Huszti and Didier Ya Konan kept Hanover among the league leaders, scoring or assisting in all four goals as the team beat Nuremberg 4-1 at home.

Bayern Munich top the Bundesliga after winning their opening five games, but Hanover moved third as Konan's brace and one from the Hungarian Huszti took their points tally to ten for the season.

Hamburg moved out of the bottom three after drawing 2-2 at Borussia Monchengladbach, with former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rafael van der Vaart opening the scoring for the visitors.

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