Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeSerie AFlawless champion: Osimhen gives can opener at Napoli

Flawless champion: Osimhen gives can opener at Napoli

SSC Napoli also won their second Serie A game this season. However, Sassuolo didn’t make life too difficult for the reigning champions on Sunday night either

SSC Napoli are one of three teams to have made a perfect start to the new season – on Monday evening Inter could follow suit at Cagliari Calcio as the fourth team. Napoli had won 3-1 at promoted Frosinone Calcio to open the campaign, followed by a commanding 2-0 win over Sassuolo Calcio on Sunday evening.

And with Osimhen, the top scorer of the previous season (26 goals in 32 appearances) is already getting himself into position. Together with Milan striker Olivier Giroud, he leads the scoring charts in Italy after two matchdays. But the first scent of the champions, who were welcomed with great fanfare in their own stadium, came from Raspadori, who nailed the ball against the right-hand post after less than 60 seconds. Then, after a quarter of an hour, it was Osimhen’s turn to strike: After watching the video footage, referee Antonio Giua gave a penalty for a foul on Politano, and Osimhen fired the penalty into the top left corner (16th).

Napoli then played their opponents up against the wall at times, without creating any great chances. Zambo Anguissa was inches away from a 2-0 lead when his header missed the target on the left (34). In return, Ruan had the only chance worth mentioning for Sassuolo in the first period, also with a header (35th).

The second 45 minutes almost started with a bang, but after a great cross from Politano, Osimhen missed a huge headed chance (46th). Shortly afterwards, Lopez did the visitors a disservice when he was sent off for a referee’s insult (51st).

Kvaratskhelia bubbles right over with joy of play

In overtime, one Napoli chance followed the next, Zielinski’s powerful left-footed shot not missing much (57.). The best chance after the break came from Raspadori, who blasted Toljan’s penalty over the crossbar (60). A change by Rudi Garcia finally brought new momentum: Kvaratskhelia came in and immediately sparkled with joy. The captain di Lorenzo, who was as strong as a bear, converted his pass with a powerful low shot into the far corner to make it 2-0 (64th).

Napoli were not satisfied yet, Osimhen and Raspadori came dangerously close (76., 79.). Joker Simeone missed a great chance (90.+3). However, the reigning champions deserved to win at home, even if they were not thrilled with the result.

The first prestige duel awaits Napoli next Saturday when runners-up Lazio visit the Diego Armando Maradona. Sassuolo, who have started with zero points and 0:4 goals, urgently need to boost their self-confidence as early as Friday (18.30) at home against Hellas Verona.



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