In what was another thriller from the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday night, Napoli moved a huge step towards this season’s Serie A crown as they claimed a 2-1 victory against Roma.
Watching both AC Milan and Juventus suffer their own stunning defeats earlier in the day, the Azzurri now find themselves holding a remarkable 13-point buffer over the chasing pack.
Opening the scoring after just 17 minutes as attacking talisman Victor Osimhen produced a thunderous volley, Napoli looked like they were cruising to yet another Serie A statement.
However, left stunned as Stephan El Shaarawy leveled the scoreline with just 15 minutes left, there was still time for Luciano Spalletti’s side to show their trademark resolve.
Sending the home support into overdrive in the dying moments as Giovanni Simeone scored the goal that could hand Napoli this year’s scudetto crown, the Blues also handed Roma their first post-World Cup defeat.
In what looks like it could be a season-defining victory for Napoli, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Sunday’s heavyweight showdown.
There is no stopping Napoli
Breezing their way to the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League and now tipped as a real European dark horse in 2023, Napoli are riding what has been an astonishing wave of momentum.
With Sunday’s 2-1 victory now moving them 13 points clear at the top of the Serie A table, Spalletti’s record-breaking squad are easing their way towards scudetto history.
Only further cementing their spot as Europe’s biggest surprise package this season, the Azzurri have remarkably lost just one of their 20 top-flight appearances on either side of the World Cup’s festive break.
Already with one hand firmly on a first domestic crown since way back in 1990, Napoli aren’t showing any signs of taking their foot off the accelerator.
Seemingly breaking records by the week and with some around the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona dreaming of what would be a famous domestic and European double, the Blues are simply breezing past any obstacle put in their way.
Roma’s flurry comes to an abrupt end
While there might have been heavy speculation over the past week that Jose Mourinho could be eyeing a Premier League return, Roma had enjoyed an eye-catching return from the World Cup break.
Although Sunday’s guests might have been left frustrated after leaving the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona empty-handed, the Giallorossi should take plenty of positives away.
Extending on their Coppa Italia adventure on January 12th as they claimed a gritty 1-0 victory at home against Genoa, the former Chelsea boss has seen his side lose just one of their previous eight domestic appearances across all formats.
Making real history last season as they were crowned inaugural Conference League winners, Roma now have their sights set on securing a long-awaited top-four return in 2023.
Also helped by watching both AC Milan and Juventus suffer their own public slip-ups, Mourinho’s men end the weekend fixtures sat just a single point adrift of breaking back into the Champions League places.
Osimhen is the man
Opening the scoring after just 17 minutes on Sunday night, there is no doubt that Osimhen has only continued to underline his status as one of world football’s most clinical striking stars.
While the 24-year-old might have struggled with some extended issues since arriving in Italy two-and-a-half years ago, the former Lille ace finds his stock at a red-hot high and has gained a string of plaudits from across Europe.
Putting in another stellar display here, Osimhen has now racked up 14 Serie A strikes in his 16 top-flight appearances and is firmly leading the chase for this season’s Golden Boot.
Heavily linked with the likes of Premier League giants Manchester United over recent months, the Nigerian international has also continued on a stellar free-scoring run since returning from the World Cup’s winter break.
Along with bagging a brace as Napoli claimed that famous 5-1 romp against Juventus on January 13th, Osimhen has now scored four strikes in as many Serie A outings.
Napoli: Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Rui, Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski, Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Subs: Elmas, Olivera, Simeone, Raspadori, Ndombele
Roma: Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez, Spinazzola, Matic, Cristante, Zalewski, Dybala, Pellegrini, Abraham
Subs: El Shaarawy, Tahirovic, Bove, Volpato, Belotti
Goals: Napoli: Osimhen (17′), Simeone (86′) – Roma: El Shaaraway (75′)
Yellow Cards: Napoli: Osimhen – Roma: El Shaaraway, Dybala
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Daniele Orsato
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