Red-hot Osimhen on target as Napoli go 18 clear at Empoli
Victor Osimhen continued his hot streak on Saturday with the second in Napoli’s 2-0 win at Empoli which stretched the league leaders’ massive advantage to 18 points.
Osimhen tapped in his 11th goal in all competitions since the turn of the year in the 28th minute in Tuscany to help move Napoli another step closer to what looks like an inevitable first league title since 1990.
The 24-year-old’s 19th league strike of a sensational season increased Napoli’s points tally to a barely believable 65 after 24 games.
“To be considered one of the best strikers in Europe is a huge thing for me, it’s huge motivation,”
“I want to keep on going like this, getting the goals for the team and edging closer to our objective this season.”Osimhen told DAZN.
Osimhen was only denied from taking his Serie A tally to 20 by Ardian Ismajli bundling into his own net in the 17th minute while trying to stop the Nigeria forward netting from Piotr Zielinski’s low cross.
Not even Mario Rui being sent off midway through the second half for inexplicably kicking Empoli striker Francesco Caputo could stop Napoli, who also struck the bar through Kim Min-Jae, from winning their eighth Serie A match on the bounce.
“That wasn’t a sign of maturity… but we also saw that the other players pulled together and reacted very well to what happened,”Spalletti told DAZN.
Inter Milan can cut the gap between them and Napoli back to 15 points with a win at Bologna on Sunday, but the title appears to be as good as gone for Italy’s traditional northern powerhouses.
Second-placed Inter are one of five teams battling for the remaining three Champions League positions and are three points ahead of both champions AC Milan and Roma.
Milan host Atalanta — who are six points behind Inter in sixth — on Sunday night, buoyed by the return of France international goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
Lazio are two points off the top four in fifth ahead of their match in Rome with troubled Sampdoria on Monday, while Roma travel to rock-bottom Cremonese on Tuesday evening.
Juventus host local rivals Torino on Tuesday hoping for a fourth straight league win after crushing Nantes to reach the Europa League last 16 on Thursday night.
Juve are seventh and nine points off the European spots despite being deducted 15 points for what the Italian football federation ruled was illicit transfer activity designed to artificially boost the club’s balance sheet.