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Napoli loses 4-2 at Empoli in Serie A as hopes of qualifying for Champions League fade

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EMPOLI, Italy — Napoli's recent run of form came to an end at Empoli with a 4-2 defeat in Serie A on Thursday, a severe dent to its hopes of qualifying for next year's Champions League.

PHOTO: Napoli coach Rafa Benitez gives indications to his players during the Serie A soccer match between Empoli and Napoli, in Empoli, Italy, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Paolo Lazzeroni)
Napoli coach Rafa Benitez gives indications to his players during the Serie A soccer match between Empoli and Napoli, in Empoli, Italy, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Paolo Lazzeroni)

A fantastic finish to the first half saw Empoli go in at the break with a commanding 3-0 lead after goals from Massimo Maccarone and Riccardo Saponara, either side of Miguel Angel Britos' own goal.

An own goal from Empoli defender Vincent Laurini gave Napoli a foothold in the game but another own goal from Raul Albiol sealed the match for the home side.

Marek Hamsik scored a late consolation for Napoli, which remained five points behind third-place Roma in the race for third place, with five matches remaining.

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