Osimhen shoots leaders Napoli past spirited Bologna
Victor Osimhen made sure that Napoli kept hold of their Serie A lead on Sunday with the winning goal in a hard-fought 3-2 win over Bologna.
Nigeria striker Osimhen struck in the 69th minute to give Napoli a win which maintained their two-point lead 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 in midweek.
Luciano Spalletti’s team, who struck the woodwork twice, have now won 10 matches on the bounce in all competitions and remain unbeaten since the start of the season.
However Sunday’s win was far from the swashbuckling display expected against Bologna, who will drop into the bottom three if Verona beat AC Milan in the day’s final game.
Thiago Motta’s side sit 17th and 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 back ahead three minutes after half-time following a goalmouth scramble.
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 squirm 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 to send the fans home drained but happy.
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.
Simone Inzaghi’s side are up to seventh after their second straight league win and trail Napoli by eight points.
“We’re on the right track, we started the season badly and lost important points, but we’ve turned the page now,” Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.
Inter are still without the injured Romelu Lukaku and midfield lynchpin Marcelo Brozovic but don’t appear to be missing either.
Three wins from their last four matches, including four points taken from Barca in the Champions League which have put them one win away from the last 16, have boosted Inter and sparked Martinez back into life.
Martinez had been in a worrying drought until he crashed in his superb strike at the Camp Nou, and he followed up on that strong performance by lashing home his first league goal since August in the 15th minute.
And Barella made sure Inter would collect the points six minutes later, drilling home his third goal of the campaign after collecting Hakan Calhanoglu’s perfect left-footed pass over the top.
Sarri’s pitch rant
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.
The pair headed into the clash gunning to stay two points behind Napoli but failed to find the target despite putting on an engaging match for the 45,000 present in Rome.
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”.
“I don’t know what the chairman is planning on doing, but if this is the pitch we have to play on he should get another coach,” Sarri told reporters, adding that playing out from the back “was like throwing a bomb under our feet”.
Sarri also lost Ciro Immobile to a thigh injury on the half-hour mark and struggled to create chances without the Italy striker.
Both teams stayed in their respective positions of third and fourth and can be overtaken by Milan and Roma, who are at Sampdoria on Monday.