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Napoli with a goalless draw at home
Napoli's Europa League ambitions suffered a setback as they could only manage a goalless draw at home to 10-man Cagliari in Serie A this afternoon.

Cagliari goalkeeper Federico Marchetti made a number of good saves to stave off the home pressure and leave them frustrated.

Napoli's Argentinian striker German Denis was the most profligate player for the hosts, wasting five presentable opportunities.

The hosts did make a late push when substitute Andrea Cossu was shown a straight red card with 11 minutes to play but the visitors held on for a point.

To further dampen Napoli's mood they dropped out of the Europa League places and a point behind Juventus after they were 3-0 winners against Bari.

Napoli will at least be enthused by an easier run-in than their hosts with matches against bottom-half sides Chievo and Atalanta before meeting fellow European hopefuls Sampdoria in a potentially important final-day encounter.

Napoli were immediately into the stride but Denis passed up three decent chances inside the opening 15 minutes.

Denis did well in the fourth minute to get his header on target but Marchetti saved well.

The Argentinian should have done better two minutes later when he poked wide from close range before firing a third effort straight at Marchetti.

Cagliari almost stole ahead against the run of play when Alessandro Matri's snap-shot was deflected to safety by Morgan De Sanctis.

Napoli were soon back on the attack and Walter Gargano shot wide from range before Marchetti again denied Denis, this time with a double save.

Denis was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, who made a brilliant save to deny him and then, from the follow-up, recovered to again turn the ball away.

Marchetti was not to be denied and made another super save on the stroke of half-time when he kept out a close-range effort from Gargano.

There was little let-up in Napoli's pressure after the break.

The now shot-shy Denis turned provider with a wonderful pass to set up Marek Hamsik, but with the goal at his mercy Napoli's top scorer missed the target.

Hamsik returned the favour on the hour but Denis' miserable day in front of goal continued as he failed to get a foot to the ball.

Marchetti then cleared a loose ball with Mariano Bogliacino lurking before Cagliari's luck looked as though it might have run out with the dismissal of Cossu.

The striker had only been on the pitch five minutes but was given a straight red for a poor challenge on Hugo Campagnaro.

Napoli made a late surge, but Juan Camilo Zuniga fired their best chance wide to round off a frustrating afternoon.
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