Zapata's double helps Napoli thump Catania

Catania, Italy ( - Duvan Zapata netted a first-half brace on Wednesday as Napoli rolled to a 4-2 thrashing of Catania at the Stadio Angelo Massimino.

Coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss to Champions League challengers Fiorentina last week, Napoli was in need of a good start on Wednesday and the club got just that against a struggling Catania side.

The visitors got off the mark quickly as Zapata opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Jose Callejon doubled the advantage in the 25th minute for a quick two-goal margin.

Henrique made it 3-0 in the 40th minute and Zapata put an exclamation point on a dominant first half when he completed his brace two minutes before the intermission.

Catania kept their collective heads up in the second half and did well to make it a game as Luciano Monzon scored in the 52nd minute and Norbert Gyomber fired one home 15 minutes from time, but the hosts had dug themselves too large a hole and suffered their 18th league defeat of the season.

The result sees Napoli tighten its grip on a Champions League place with 61 points from 30 matches, while Catania remains at the foot of the table with 20 points.

Elsewhere in Serie A on Wednesday, Giuseppe De Luca and German Denis scored on either side of the break to hand Atalanta a 2-0 win over Livorno, while Nene's 31st-minute tally handed three points to Cagliari with a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona.

Alberto Paloschi netted a brace to lead Chievo to a 3-0 rout of Bologna, while Philippe Mexes and Mario Balotelli tallied for AC Milan in a 2-0 result against Fiorentina.

Alberto Gilardino and Ioannis Fetfatzidis scored second-half goals to see Genoa past Lazio, 2-0, while Juventus inched closer to its third consecutive league title after Carlos Tevez scored twice to give the Old Lady a 2-1 win over Parma at Juventus Stadium.

In Wednesday's final Serie A fixture, Gianluca Sansone scored in the first minute of play and Stefano Okaka Chuka added a second goal in a 2-1 win for Sampdoria over Sassuolo.