Unbridled Napoli crushes Juventus and takes a 10-point lead

Unbridled Napoli crushes Juventus and takes a 10-point lead

Napoli’s dreams of a first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona are more alive than ever after beating Juventus 5-1 on Friday to move 10 points clear at the top.

Luciano Spalletti’s fluid team once again thrilled with a spectacular performance against their former rivals to seal their authority in a title race that is looking increasingly like a one-team affair.

Victor Osimhen raised his league tally for the season to 12 with a goal in each half, while Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Amir Rrahmani and Eljif Elmas scored the other goals for the hosts to extend their lead over Juve and AC Milan.

Champions Milan can cut the gap to seven points with a win at Lecce on Saturday, but the way Napoli dealt with Juve was the latest sign that southern Italy’s biggest club is the real deal and is set to end a 33-year wait for a league crown. .

Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen were blistering in attack, both setting up goals and wreaking havoc more or less from the first whistle against a team that had conceded just seven league goals in 17 games as of Friday.

“It was a brilliant night,” Osimhen told DAZN.

“I’m happy for the team and I’m also happy to contribute with two goals and one assist. We want to keep this momentum going.”

“The road is still long, we just want to keep winning our games…at the end of the season I think we have a good chance.”

Juve had come into the match at a packed Stadio Maradona on a run of eight consecutive wins in which they had not conceded, making them title contenders despite a dismal start to the season.

Instead, Massimiliano Allegri’s side left Naples with their tails between their legs after conceding five goals in a Serie A game for the first time since May 1993.

“When you make mistakes like the ones we did against a team like Napoli, you are going to be punished. They are the leaders of the league and they deserve to be where they are,” Allegri said.

-Osimhen double-

Napoli got into Juventus early on, pressing high up the field and preventing the visiting team from building any plays.

Osimhen couldn’t get to the end of Kim Min-Jae’s long ball on 12 minutes, but the Nigerian international couldn’t deny him and two minutes later gave the hosts a well-deserved lead.

Matteo Politano’s cross reached Kvaratskhelia, whose acrobatic volley was brilliantly parried by Wojciech Szczesny, but then fell directly on Osimhen, who nodded from close range.

Juve looked like they were about to be laid waste, but to their credit they responded to the initial barrage and entrenched themselves in the game.

Maradona had their collective hearts in their mouths in the 21st minute when Ángel Di María gulped down a gruesome pass from Rrahmani and tore with a long effort that grazed the top of the crossbar.

Arkadiusz Milik and Bremer came close with headers, but with Juve seemingly on the rise, Kvaratskhelia put Napoli two points ahead in the 39th minute after Bremer missed a high ball and Osimhen became the supplier for the Georgian wing wizard.

Juve closed the gap almost immediately through their best player, Di Maria, whose low, precise finishing punished Napoli’s terrified defence.

And Napoli had Alex Meret to thank for their halftime lead after the Italian deflected Rrahmani’s bizarre attempt to clear Federico Chiesa’s cross.

Rrahmani made up for his rather shaky first-half performance nine minutes after the break with a first-half strike from a Kvaratskhelia corner, and from then on it was party time for Napoli.

Kvaratskhelia capped off his majestic performance in the 65th minute with a perfect cross from which Osimhen headed home Napoli’s fourth and seven minutes later, substitute Elmas put the icing on the cake with his fifth of the season, deflected by Szczesny for Alex Sandro. .

td/dj

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