NAPLES, Italy :Lorenzo Insigne scored twice from the penalty spot as Napoli returned to the top of the Serie A standings, level on points with equally unbeaten AC Milan, after a 3-0 home win against Bologna on Thursday.
Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz opened the scoring in the 18th minute at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium with a left footed shot into the top corner from outside the box that gave goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski no chance.
Captain Insigne doubled the tally from the spot in the 41st minute after a VAR decision confirmed Chilean centre-back Gary Medel had handled the ball in the area under pressure from Victor Osimhen.
Insigne, who had missed a good 15th minute chance, stepped up and fired into the bottom corner.
His second came in the 62nd, right-footed to the bottom left, after another VAR review when on-form Nigerian Osimhen, constantly involved, went down in the area.
That made up for several missed penalties by Insigne this season but there was to be no hat-trick, with the captain taken off three minutes later.
"I've missed a few but I'm always ready to take them," he said. "It was important to respond to Milan after their victory on Tuesday."
Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti was absent from the dugout as he served a touchline ban after being sent off in the 0-0 draw at Roma last Sunday, with deputy Marco Domenichini standing in.
There was plenty of cheering in the 86th minute when Algerian left back Faouzi Ghoulam made his return from injury after seven months out.
Napoli now have nine wins and a draw from 10 games and Thursday's result extended their unbeaten run at home in Serie A to 16 games.
Bologna, whose coach Sinisa Mihajlovic became a grandfather earlier in the day, dropped to 12th in the standings.
"We lost to a stronger team who would have won even without those two penalties," he said.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)