Napoli beat Parma to ease pressure on coach Gattuso

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NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) - Napoli earned a 2-0 victory over lowly Parma thanks to a goal in each half on Sunday, with their Serie A win easing the pressure on under-fire coach Gennaro Gattuso.

In a poor first period, Eljif Elmas' solo effort in the 32nd minute broke the deadlock, with the midfielder beating three players before scoring.

Nervy Napoli spent the majority of the second half defending their lead before substitute Matteo Politano's deflected strike in the 82nd minute made sure of the points, with every player going to Gattuso to celebrate.

Napoli publicly backed their coach this week as speculation persisted that Gattuso could be sacked. The result moved fifth-placed Napoli onto 37 points, two off the top four, further helping the 43-year-old's cause.

Parma stay second-bottom with 13 points, two off the safety zone, and are without a win in their last 11 league games.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris)