Napoli continued to get out of the squadron and crawl towards its first title since 1990, by defeating its host Sassuolo 2-0 on Friday, in the opening of the twenty-third stage of the Italian Football Championship.
Coach Luciano Spalletti’s team owes its victory to the brilliant Georgian Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, who scored the goals in the 12th and 33rd minutes.
It is the third consecutive match in which the duo “Kafara” and Osimhen give Napoli the lead, as the Georgian gave him the lead in the two matches against Spezia and Cremonese (one score 3-0). The Nigerian added a double in the first match and scored the second in the second before adding the North Macedonian Elif Elmas the third.
Kafara, who celebrated his twenty-second birthday last Sunday, raised his tally to 10 goals with 11 assists in 19 matches he played so far in his first season in “Serie A” and 12 with 14 assists in 24 matches in all competitions.
Osimhen strengthened his lead in the top scorers ranking with his 18th goal in 19 games. It is the 20th victory for Napoli this season and the seventh in a row since its only loss this season against Inter 0-1 in the sixteenth stage, strengthening its lead with 62 points by 18 points temporarily in front of its closest pursuers Inter Milan, the champion of the season before last, who hosts Udinese on Saturday.
The southern club is performing admirably this season in its continuous quest to win its third title in “Serie A” and the first since 1990 when the late Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona led it to its second title in its history after the first in 1987.
Napoli prepared well for its trip to Germany next Tuesday to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the Champions League final.
On the other hand, Sassuolo’s awakening stopped recently, and he suffered his first loss in his last five matches, after two resounding victories over Milan and Atalanta Bergamo, and two draws with Monza and Udinese, so his score froze at 24 points in fifteenth place.
Kvaratskhelia succeeded in giving Napoli the lead when he received a ball from Uruguayan defender Matias Oliveira in the middle of the field, so he launched a wonderful individual effort, manipulating more than one player to the outskirts of the area, and slithering it to the right of goalkeeper Andrea Consili (12).
Sassuolo almost equalized through French midfielder Armand Llorente with a close-range shot that bounced off the right post of goalkeeper Alex Merritt and was pushed away by the defense (14).
Nigerian international right-hander Victor Osimhen was denied scoring the second goal when he returned his creeping shot after an individual effort inside the area (27).
Osimhen managed to hit the net after five minutes when he received a ball inside the defense inside the area, got rid of two defenders, and hit it with a powerful, wonderful right-hand shot from a difficult angle and put it inside the goal (33).
Osimhen almost scored his second and third personal goal for his team when he flew with his head to a wonderful pass outside the right foot of Kafara, but it passed next to the left post (36). Lloriente scored a goal for Sassuolo in the 41st minute, which was ruled out for offside by compatriot Gregoire Defrel.
Argentine Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid’s Spanish coach Diego, scored a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time, instead of Osimhen, which was ruled out for offside.
Saturday also plays Sampdoria with Bologna, and Monza with Milan.
The stage will be completed on Sunday with Atalanta’s meetings with Lecce, Salernitana with Lazio, Fiorentina with Empoli, Spezia with Juventus, and Roma with Verona, to conclude on Monday with Turin’s meeting with Cremonese.