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Spalletti urges calm as Napoli ready for title party

Luciano Spalletti said it isn’t time for Napoli to start celebrating despite a last-gasp 1-0 triumph at Juventus leaving his team needing potentially one more win to claim a historic Serie A title.

Giacomo Raspadori smashed in the stoppage time decider to claim a huge win at Juve which pushed Napoli 17 points clear at the top of the table, sweeping aside disappointment at being knocked out of the Champions League by AC Milan midweek.

If Napoli beat regional rivals Salernitana on Saturday they will need Inter Milan to avoid home defeat to Lazio on Sunday to be crowned champions for the first time since 1990.

“We need to wait before we pop any bottles, and hearts, because we still have a little way to go,” said Spalletti to DAZN.

“They played really well and it wasn’t easy to do that so soon after being knocked out of the Champions League. I don’t think we could have done any more tonight.”

Barring a nightmare collapse in the final seven games of the season Napoli will win the league, the crowning glory of Spalletti’s career which has been a long road from lower league football as a player to the summit of the Italian game.

The Scudetto would be his first league title since the two he won in Russia with Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2010 and 2012 and his first trophy in a major league since an Italian Cup with Roma in 2008.

The 64-year-old has long been considered a capable coach who doesn’t have the winning mentality, who gets his teams playing great football but who ultimately achieves little.

“It’s obviously very satisfying to be here,” added Spalletti. “It has been a tougher road here for me than for others who began from a higher level, those who earned respect from their playing careers and had the opportunity to lead a top team right from the start.”


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