Empoli, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Napoli's five match unbeaten streak across all competitions came to an end on Thursday with a 4-2 defeat to Empoli at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
Rafa Benitez's men came into Thursday's affair in fourth place in Serie A with 56 points, five behind Roma for the all-important Champions League berth, and a win would have brought the club within two of Roma, but Napoli was off the pace from the outset.
It took just eight minutes for Empoli to open the scoring as Massimo Maccarone found the back of the net and the lead was doubled in the 43rd minute thanks to an own goal off Napoli's Miguel Britos.
It was 3-0 for the hosts on the stroke of halftime when Riccardo Saponara fired home to give Empoli the comfortable margin at the intermission.
Napoli was handed a life line in the 64th minute when some confusion in the penalty area resulted in an own goal credited to Empoli's Vincent Laurini, but Empoli added another tally eight minutes from time with another own goal, this time off Napoli's Raul Albiol.
The visitors pulled back a second goal in stoppage time through Marek Hamsik to make it 4-2, but it wasn't enough and Empoli held on to claim an important three points.