Udinese 1-1 Napoli: Victor Osimhen the hero as Partenopei end long Scudetto wait


Serie A’s leading marksman Victor Osimhen was the fitting scorer of the equaliser that saw Napoli end their long wait for the Scudetto.

Napoli sealed their first Serie A title in 33 years as Victor Osimhen’s strike earned a 1-1 draw against Udinese.

Napoli, who missed out on the chance to win the title in front of their own fans on Sunday, went into Thursday’s clash at the Dacia Arena knowing a point would be enough to secure their first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era.

Fittingly, it was talisman Osimhen – with his 22nd league strike of the season – who scored to seal Napoli’s third Serie A crown, canceling out Sandi Lovric’s opener.

Unlike Napoli’s local rivals Salernitana, Udinese didn’t have quite the same determination to put off Napoli’s party, which is sure to be one for the ages.

Napoli’s contingent of traveling fans made all the noise in the opening stages, although their enthusiasm waned when Lovric fired a brilliant finish into the top-right corner in the 13th minute.

Seeking to end a three-game scoreless streak in Serie A, Osimhen forced a save from Marco Silvestri soon after, while partner-in-crime Khvich Kvaratskhelia had a penalty appeal turned down following a VAR review.

Osimhen headed wide just after the half-hour mark, although Napoli were fortunate that Lovric failed to beat Alex Meret at the other end for the second time moments ago.

The Napoli number nine would not be denied again though, and after Silvestri had cleared Kvaratskheli’s low effort, Osimhen equalized seven minutes into the second half.

Osimhen thought it was 2-1 with 23 minutes remaining, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul in the set-piece.

Luciano Spalletti’s strain on the touchline was clear but his team remained calm on the pitch as they saw out a draw that will go down in history.

What does it mean? Makers of history

Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia and the rest of Spalletti’s team go down in Napoli history. They may never quite have El Diego’s legacy, but they will forever hold a special place in the hearts of the Azzurri faithful, who last celebrated a title in 1990.

Napoli were crowned Serie A champions with five games to play – only two teams in the three-point-for-win era had previously won the title with five games to go (Juventus in 2018-19 and Inter in 2006-07). Napoli’s only shame is that they failed to complete their title run with a win.

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