Napoli snatched back the Serie A lead with a 4-1 win at Cremonese on Sunday, helped by two goals in added time.
Atalanta had briefly taken the league lead after a 2-2 draw at Udinese earlier on Sunday but Napoli put themselves back on top with a two-point cushion after their resounding win in Cremona.
Napoli opened the scoring with a penalty in the 26th minute after Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was clumsily tackled inside the box by Matteo Bianchetti. The striker Matteo Politano had no problem with his shot into the lower left side of the goal.
Cremonese equalised two minutes into the second half when Cyriel Dessers got to a through ball into the box and hammered it in the net.
Giovanni Simeone put Napoli ahead again when he jumped to reach a cross from Mario Rui and headed into the net in the 76th minute. Three minutes into stoppage time, Kvaratskhelia passed to an unmarked Hirving Lozano who scored from close range. Mathías Olivera finished off the match with a headed goal in the 95th minute.
Napoli, after seven wins and two draws in their nine matches, now have 23 points, two ahead of Atalanta.
Earlier in Udine, a late goal by the defender Nehuen Perez helped Udinese to come back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 home draw against Atalanta as the hosts continued their best start to a top-flight campaign in their history.
The Atalanta forward Luis Muriel sent an early warning to the hosts when he struck a shot in the 16th minute which was denied by Udinese goalkeeper Marco Silvestri. The striker Ademola Lookman put the visitors ahead 20 minutes later after he was brilliantly set up by Muriel who sent a precise low pass into the six-yard box which the 24-year-old smashed into the roof of the net.
Atalanta doubled their advantage 11 minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty for Destiny Udogie’s risky tackle on Muriel. The Colombian calmly pushed the ball in with the tip of his boot for his 50th league goal with Atalanta, and his 12th against Udinese.
Udinese tried to bounce back and the midfielder Tolgay Arslan had a good chance when he received a delightful pass from Udogie but the substitute’s strike went just past the near post.
The hosts eventually halved the lead when Gerard Deulofeu made it 2-1 with a superb free-kick in the 67th minute, after his teammate Isaac Success was fouled by the Atalanta defender Caleb Okoli. Udinese added another goal 11 minutes later through a brilliant header by Perez to draw level.
“We did a lot more than them, Silvestri didn’t make a save,” the Udinese coach Andrea Sottil told DAZN. “I’m very happy with the boys, they played a great match. We deserved the draw, too bad for the last chance.”
Udinese, who finished 12th last season, are unbeaten in their past eight games. Atalanta remain unbeaten this season, winning six and drawing three.
“We have to be happy with this result,” the Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, said after his 300th competitive match in charge of the team in all competitions. “There was personality and great technique, we deservedly took the lead. It’s a match that made us grow.”
In the Bundesliga, Union Berlin’s Paul Jaeckel scored a 76th-minute winner to give his team a 1-0 victory at VfB Stuttgart and send them two points clear at the top.
Jaeckel was left with too much space in the box, allowing him to head in off the post and lift surprise leaders Union to 20 points, two ahead of second-placed Freiburg. Stuttgart finished the game with 10 men after Serhou Guirassy was dismissed in the 82nd minute.
For much of the game the hosts, however, had not looked like the only team in the league without a win this season. They had the better chances in the first half, with Guirassy’s glancing header in the 34th minute being their best.
Union remained composed at the back and patient, grabbing their chance through Jaeckel although Stuttgart did hit the post through Kostantinos Mavropanos three minutes later.
Freiburg needed a 78th-minute goal from Kevin Schade to rescue a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin earlier on Sunday. The champions, Bayern Munich, are third on 16 following the 2-2 draw on Saturday at fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund.
In La Liga, Barcelona returned to the top with a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo. Pedri scored in the 17th minute and Xavi’s side held on for the next 80 minutes – there were seven minutes of stoppage time – to reclaim top spot from Real Madrid, themselves winners by the only goal of their game on Saturday, against Getafe.
In France, Lille beat Lens by a single goal in the derby du nord on Sunday evening. Jonathan David was the hero for the hosts with his penalty just before half-time. The win moved them up to seventh while Lens remain fourth.