Marek Hamsik’s delightful chip cancelled out a Sergio Floccari header to make it all square at the Olimpico.
Edy Reja faced his former club, having taken Napoli from Serie C to the UEFA Cup in a five-year spell. He was now desperate to keep Lazio in the top flight and they seemed to have turned a corner with seven points from three games. The Partenopei were chasing a Champions League spot and missed the injured Andrea Dossena. The Biancocelesti’s absentee list included Pasquale Foggia, Mourad Meghni, Francelino Matuzalem, Ousmane Dabo and Simone Inzaghi, but Mauro Zarate was dropped.
Lazio broke through almost immediately, as a Stefano Mauri cross came in from the left for the powerful Sergio Floccari header under the bar, giving Morgan De Sanctis no chance.
Nando Muslera parried a Juan Zuniga curler into the path of Ezequiel Lavezzi, who ballooned the volley over.
De Sanctis used his legs to block an Aleksandar Kolarov screamer and Floccari’s strike skimmed the crossbar, while at the other end Marek Hamsik wasted a good chance by firing over.
Napoli drew level in style with Hamsik, who pounced on a defensive error from Fabio Quagliarella’s ball over the top to go clear and delightfully chipped Muslera from the tightest of angles.
Lavezzi hit a blockbuster from 20 metres that saw Muslera soar to fingertip it out from under the crossbar with an acrobatic save.
Zarate replaced Tommaso Rocchi for the second half and had an immediate impact with several shots in the opening minutes.
Muslera smothered a Hugo Campagnaro half-volley, but nobody else was able to score.