Napoli registered a ninth consecutive Serie A home victory with Victor Osimhen, Eljif Elmas and birthday boy Kvicha Kvaratskhelia securing revenge against Cremonese.

Check the full line-ups and statistics from Napoli-Cremonese here.

Awaiting Inter’s meeting with Sampdoria tomorrow, the Partenopei temporarily go 16 points clear at the top of the table.

The visitors didn’t have a single Serie A win this season, yet knocked Napoli and Roma out of the Coppa Italia to set up a semi-final with Fiorentina in April. Cyriel Dessers, David Okereke, Matteo Bianchetti, Giacomo Quagliata, Cristian Buonaiuto and Luka Lochoshvili didn’t make the trip.

Marco Carnesecchi had to make the first save after six minutes on Giovanni Di Lorenzo from the edge of the box, but Cremonese threatened too when a ball went all the way across to Johan Vasquez at the back post, he took a touch too many and allowed Chucky Lozano to make the desperate tackle.

Leonardo Sernicola squirmed away between Mario Rui and Kvaratskhelia to put a dangerous cross in from the right, while Carnesecchi fingertipped a Di Lorenzo header over the bar from a corner.

It was end to end, but the deadlock was broken when Kvaratskhelia gathered a poor Sernicola clearance at the corner flag, cut inside from the left and drilled right-footed through a sea of legs into the far bottom corner. Curiously, he scored at the 22nd minute on his 22nd birthday.

The Georgian almost got another moments later, nodding a Di Lorenzo cross off target, while Osimhen also couldn’t keep his header down and Marco Benassi tested Alex Meret from distance.

Kvaratskhelia had penalty appeals waved away for a risky Alex Ferrari tackle that got some of the ball and some of his ankle, then Vasquez was very fortunate to avoid a second yellow card after the restart for catching Lozano on the ankle.

Carnesecchi was again alert to palm Lozano’s strike out from under the bar after a slalom past defenders, but Napoli doubled their lead from a corner. Kim Min-jae’s diving header at the back post turned into an assist that Osimhen just had to nudge over the line from point-blank range. It was the Nigerian’s sixth consecutive Serie A match on target.

Moments later, Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia combined only for the pass to be just beyond Lozano, but Eljif Elmas added a third with an angled drive after the give and go with Di Lorenzo.

Napoli 3-0 Cremonese

Kvaratskhelia 22 (N), Osimhen 65 (N), Elmas 79 (N)

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