Napoli took full advantage of Inter Milan’s first defeat of the Serie A season to take over at the top.
Udinese called time on Inter’s 16-match unbeaten run with Kevin Lasagna, Rodrigo De Paul and Antonin Barak scoring the goals in a 3-1 victory at San Siro.
Later, sitting a point behind the Nerazzurri before they tackled Torino, Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli scented blood and Kalidou Koulibaly, Piotr Zielinski and Marek Hamsik made it 3-0 before half-time.
It was a 115th goal for Slovakian midfielder Hamsik, who thus matched Diego Maradona’s long-standing record scoring haul for the Naples club.
In addition to re-establishing Napoli as title challengers to be feared, the 3-1 triumph in Turin ended a worrying sequence of toothless performances.
The southerners drew blanks against Juventus and Fiorentina in their last two league games and lost 2-1 to Champions League strugglers Feyenoord last week.
But here their incisive play was back on display, with Allan, Jorginho and Dries Mertens providing assists for the goals from different parts of the pitch.
Torino striker Andrea Belotti also enjoyed a timely fillip as he recorded his first league goal since September, rattling in Adem Ljajic’s second-half assist.
There had been no such joy for Inter, though. Just days after their embarrassing 120-minute toil against third-tier Pordenone in the Coppa Italia, they were overrun by mid-table Udinese.
Lasagna’s opener was quickly cancelled out by Inter captain Mauro Icardi but a second-half collapse saw De Paul convert a penalty and Barak confirm Udinese’s third straight win with his late effort.