The Argentine put the Viola on their way to ending a run of three defeats with a clearance from his own half, but the Partenopei talisman's 100th Serie A goal shared the spoilsSecond-placed Napoli missed the chance to open up a gap between themselves and their Serie A rivals after they played out a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi on Sunday.
Facundo Roncaglia put the Viola in the driving seat with an opening goal midway through the first half after his clearance looped over Napoli keeper Morgan De Sanctis, but Edinson Cavani found the back of the net for the 100th time in the Italian top flight to extend the hosts' winless run to four matches.
As with most of Napoli's games this season, they were patient in their approach and looked to wait until the opportunity to hit the Tuscans on the break arose. Fiorentina, meanwhile, adopted their crisp passing style, which has won them many plaudits.
A cagey start ensued, with little in terms of chances being created. An early Partenopei counter, led by Cavani, finished wayward as Goran Pandev failed to direct his shot goalbound, while Romulo was guilty of missing the target on two counts.
The Viola took the lead on 33 minutes in astonishing circumstances when Roncaglia, in the centre-circle, clipped a ball forward from his own half which inexplicably looped over De Sanctis and two Napoli defenders.
But nine minutes later, Marek Hamsik sent a flighted free-kick into the box, and Cavani was on hand to glance the Slovak's attempt past Neto for his 100th Serie A goal. It was a welcome contribution from the Uruguayan, who was quiet for the most part.
De Sanctis then came close to making his second howler of the afternoon as another loose ball near his goal was poorly managed by the Italy goalkeeper, but he eventually smothered the danger in a crowded box.
On the cusp of half-time, the Viola came close to retaking their lead - Juan Cuadrado, a constant thorn down the right flank, overlapped Juan Zuniga and drilled a cross into the box, but Luca Toni, despite his cavalier movement, struck over the bar.
After the break, more of the same was witnessed, as Fiorentina tried to work their way up the pitch, but their final pass was lacking once more, allowing Gokhan Inler and Cavani to fire snapshots at Neto's goal.
Soon after, on the hour mark, both goalkeepers were forced to stay on their toes. Hugo Campagnaro slipped through Cavani, who saw his finish saved by the Brazilian shot-stopper at his near post, before Alberto Aquilani saw a mirror image denied.
Neto arguably saved Fiorentina a point with less than 10 minutes to go when he produced a fine stop to claw away Miguel Britos' header. Stevan Jovetic then could have volleyed his side towards victory in stoppage time, but his effort whistled just wide.
The Tuscans continued to apply the pressure in the latter stages, and they seemed to have found the winner when Juan Cuadrado cut the ball back for Aquilani, who was unmarked on the edge of the box, but the midfielder struck over the bar.
The result leaves Napoli tied with Lazio but still one place shy of leaders Juventus in the Serie A standings. Fiorentina, however, are now without a win in three league games and fall seven points off the pace in the race for a Champions League spot.