MILAN (Reuters) - Substitute Arkadiusz Milik rescued a dramatic 2-2 draw for Napoli on Sunday after a topsy-turvy second half at Sassuolo which saw the visitors lead 1-0, gift an equaliser and then hit the woodwork twice.
Keita Balde Diao scored a six-minute hat-trick as Lazio hit five goals in the first half-hour on the way to a 6-2 demolition of sorry Palermo and AC Milan suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat by lowly Empoli.
Napoli stayed in third place, the Champions League playoff-round spot, with 71 points, one behind AS Roma who visit basement club Pescara on Monday, and nine behind leaders Juventus, who were at home to Genoa in Sunday's late game (1845 GMT).
Lazio are fourth while Milan stayed sixth with 58 points, in the last Europa League place.
Dries Mertens headed Napoli in front from Jose Callejon's cross in the 52nd minute to delight the army of shirtless visiting fans behind the goal.
A mistake by Napoli's usually inspirational captain Marek Hamsik allowed Sassuolo to level seven minutes later when Domenico Berardi intercepted the Slovakian's headed back pass and fired past Pepe Reina.
Mertens smacked a free kick against the crossbar and Lorenzo Insigne hit the inside of the post before Sassuolo sneaked a second goal in the 80th minute, Luca Mazzitelli firing home after Napoli failed to clear the ball.
Milik was brought on and equalised within three minutes when he hooked the ball in from close range with Sassuolo claiming offside.
Ciro Immobile got Lazio off to a flying start with goals in the eighth and 10th minutes before Keita sprang into action.
The Senegal international played a one-two with Immobile to score in the 21st minute, then converted a penalty and finally chipped his third over Josip Posavec after a clever Immobile backheel in the 26th minute.
Andrea Rispoli replied twice in the second half before Luca Crecco added Lazio's sixth.
Leven Mchedlidze headed Empoli in front against Milan five minutes before halftime and Mame Thiam added the second goal in the 67th minute.
In between, Empoli goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski saved a weak Suso penalty and also managed to block Gianluca Lapadula's effort from the rebound.
Lapadula pulled one back but could not prevent Empoli's third win in 24 Serie A meetings with Milan.
Empoli stayed 17th in the 20-team table with 29 points and a five-point cushion protecting them from the relegation zone.
Crotone, who have 24 points, beat Sampdoria 2-1 and are the only team with a realistic chance of overtaking the Tuscan side but are running out of games.
Palermo have 16 points and Pescara 14, both almost certainly doomed.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Clare Fallon)