Napoli firmly established themselves as the Serie A favourites by beating a stubborn Empoli side at home to add to their lead as AC Milan fell further behind with a draw against Cremonese.

The hosts dominated the first half but failed to find the needed goal despite Empoli not having a single shot on target.

Napoli finally got the breakthrough when Razvan Marin tripped Victor Osimhen inside the box and substitute Hirving Lozano converted the resulting spot-kick in the 69th minute.

The visitors were dealt another blow in the 74th minute when Sebastiano Luperto was sent off after picking up a second yellow card for tripping Lozano in the 74th minute before the Mexican added more misery for Empoli by assisting Piotr Zielinski’s goal in the 88th minute which sealed their fate.

Napoli also extended their win streak to 10 matches with a victory over Empoli taking their points tally to 38 from 14 matches, eight more than their neatest challengers AC Milan.

AC Milan, meanwhile, was held to a 0-0 draw by the 18th-placed Cremonese at home as the visitors wasted several chances to cut into Napoli’s Serie A lead.

Brahim Diaz, Divock Origi and Ante Rebic were all wastefully in front of the goal with Cremonese goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi taking care of any other opportunities that fell the visitor’s way.

It was another drab performance that will have Stefano Pioli worried for their chances in the Champions League as well when they take on Tottenham in the round of 16.

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