Gonzalo Higuain was jeered on his first return to Napoli, where Serie A leaders Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw.
Higuain, 29, left Stadio San Paolo in a stormy transfer affair last summer to join Napoli’s title rivals Juve for €90 million on the back of a 36-goal season.
The Argentinian is expected to feature in Naples’ Stadio San Paolo again for a Coppa Italia semifinal showdown on Wednesday, although he was largely anonymous in the face of an extremely hostile reception from his former fan base.
Sami Khedira helped matters by boosting Juve into a seventh-minute lead with an inspiring one-two with Miralem Pjanic.
But Napoli, the better side throughout the game, grabbed a deserved equaliser through captain Marek Hamsik on the hour as the Slovakian converted Dries Mertens’s reverse pass.
Another back-pass, this time with Kwadwo Asamoah playing the supplier, saw Mertens beat goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon — but the Belgian found the woodwork from a tight angle and Juve was able to hold on.
The draw gap between the clubs remains 10 points, meaning Napoli stand little chance of catching the Bianconeri over the eight Serie games left this season. Only Roma, who won 2-0 against Empoli retain a fringe chance of denying Juve a sixth straight Scudetto after cutting their lead to five.