Victor Osimhen made sure that Napoli kept hold of their Serie A lead on Sunday with the winning goal in a 3-2 victory over Bologna which took their all-competitions winning streak to 10 matches.
Nigeria striker Osimhen struck in the 69th minute to secure the win for unbeaten Napoli, who maintained their two-point lead on Atalanta at the top of the pile.
It was his first league goal since August after helping his team to secure qualification to the Champions League last 16 with a midweek strike in Naples against Ajax.
“It’s always important for me to get a goal in this stadium because the atmosphere is really amazing,” said Osimhen to DAZN.
“I’m happy to be able to help the team with this goal and the victory, and I believe we will continue to push with this momentum.”
However Sunday’s win was far from the swashbuckling display expected against Bologna, who sit 17th but come away from the Stadio Maradona with credit after a fine performance without star man Marko Arnautovic.
The hosts looked to be heading for a routine win once Hirving Lozano put them ahead three minutes after half-time.
They had gone into the break level thanks to Juan Jesus bundling in his first goal of the season in final minute of the half, just four minutes after Joshua Zirkzee had give Bologna a shock lead.
However Alex Meret allowed Musa Barrow to level for Bologna just two minutes after Lozano’s arrowed strike with a howler, letting the Gambian’s long-range shot squeeze under his body.
The home crowd squirmed but Osimhen, who replaced Giacomo Raspadori at half-time, forced his third league goal of the campaign under Lukasz Skorupski from the superb Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s pass to send the fans home drained but happy.
Tonali saves Milan
Milan gave their title defence a boost with a 2-1 win at Verona which bumped them up to third, three points behind Napoli.
Sandro Tonali poked in the champions’ winner with nine minutes remaining, his first goal of the season and one which saved Stefano Pioli’s injury-ravaged team from falling further off the pace.
Verona were playing their first match under new coach Salvatore Bocchetti who was promoted from the youth team following the sacking of Gabriele Cioffi.
The hosts could easily have taken more from the match as, after Koray Gunter levelled a Miguel Veloso own goal in the 19th minute, they caused Milan serious problems and struck the bar through Roberto Piccoli 11 minutes after the break.
Bocchetti’s team went close to levelling for the second time in the match in the final minutes when a goalmouth scramble led to Tommaso Pobega nearly giving away a penalty for handball.
But a fifth straight defeat means they stay in the bottom three, two points behind Bologna.
Inter revival continues
On a high from Wednesday night’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Barcelona, Inter Milan saw off Salernitana 2-0 at the San Siro thanks to goals either side of half-time from Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella.
Three wins from their last four matches, including four points taken from Barca, have got Inter’s domestic season back on track and put them one win away from the last 16 of the Champions League.
Simone Inzaghi’s side are up to seventh after their second straight league win and trail Napoli by eight points.
Maurizio Sarri said Lazio should “look for another coach” after being outraged by the state of the Stadio Olimpico pitch during his team’s goalless draw with fellow in-form side Udinese.
Sarri said that the pitch, which has also been criticised Jose Mourinho whose team Roma play at the same stadium, was “impossible to play on” despite both teams putting on an engaging spectacle for the 45,000 present in Rome.
Sarri also lost Ciro Immobile to a thigh injury on the half-hour mark and fourth-placed Lazio can be overtaken by local rivals Roma if they beat Sampdoria on Monday.
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