Napoli took another step closer to ending its 33-year wait to win the Serie A title after it came away from Lecce with a 2-1 win on Friday thanks to a bizarre own goal from Lecce defender Antonino Gallo.
Luciano Spalletti’s side extended its lead at the top of the table to 19 points over second-placed Lazio, who will be in action against Juventus on Saturday.
Napoli, whose shock 4-0 loss to AC Milan on Sunday was only its third league defeat of the season, is within touching distance of winning the Serie A title for the first time since 1990 with nine games left to play.
“The Stadio Via del Mare is a difficult place to play in and Lecce had good results against all the big clubs, as they are well-organised and give their best in important situations,” Spalletti told DAZN.
Napoli opened the scoring in the 18th minute when an unmarked Giovanni Di Lorenzo headed home Kim Min-jae’s cross. Lecce equalised seven minutes into the second half after Federico Di Francesco pounced on a rebound inside the box and sent the ball into the bottom corner.
Lecce’s momentum disappeared in the 64th minute when Gallo chested the ball back to keeper Wladimiro Falcone, who saw it slip between his gloves and into the net.
Napoli was without Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen, who is still recovering from a thigh strain, and Spalletti admitted the team was hampered by the Nigerian’s absence.
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“It does become difficult without him, because he has this way of running into space, this physicality, he can draw everyone to him and therefore create the space for his team mates,” the Napoli coach said without giving a time frame as to when Osimhen might return.
“Osimhen wants to play every game, but there are situations that need to be evaluated carefully. He really did run the risk of hurting himself badly and being ruled out for the rest of the season, so the medics were right to make him take some time out.”
The match concluded another miserable week for Lecce, who have now suffered six straight defeats in Serie A and is 16th, eight points above the relegation zone.
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