Another Osimhen double fires Napoli to win over Udinese

 

A second successive double from Victor Osimhen earned Napoli a 2-1 comeback victory over Udinese on Saturday, moving them level on points with Serie A leaders AC Milan.
Looking to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time since late January into early February, Napoli fell behind in the 22nd minute after Gerard Deulofeu arrowed a strike into the net.

The hosts looked like a different side in the second half, however, and turned the match on its head as striker Osimhen backed up his double in last week’s 2-1 win at Hellas Verona with another brace.

His first was a bullet header to level the match seven minutes after the break, before a clever near-post finish 11 minutes later completed the turnaround.

Pablo Mari’s late red card ended Udinese’s hopes of grabbing an equaliser at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, as Napoli saw out a crucial win in the race for the Scudetto.
The victory moved Napoli onto 63 points, level with Milan at the top of the table ahead of their trip to Cagliari later on Saturday. Udinese stay 14th.

Inter drop points again in home draw with Fiorentina

Internazionale dropped points again in the Serie A title race on Saturday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Fiorentina at the San Siro as Denzel Dumfries rescued a point when he cancelled out Lucas Torreira’s opener.

Inter were top of the league last month but have won only one of their last seven games and now sit third on 60 points, three behind leaders Napoli, who have played a game more, and AC Milan, who are playing at Cagliari later on Saturday.

“There is bitterness. We wanted to win tonight and turn the situation around,” Dumfries told Inter TV.

“We have to get back to our levels, there is quality in Inter and we have to go back to showing it. I’m happy for my goal but not for the final result.”

The goalkeepers were kept busy in a goalless first half, with Inter’s Samir Handanovic called into action to stop long-range efforts, while Fiorentina’s Pietro Terracciano denied Edin Dzeko from close range.

But the visitors’ sustained pressure paid dividends early in the second half when Gaetano Castrovilli cut open Inter’s defence in the box to find Nicolas Gonzalez, whose quick cut-back was fired in by Torreira.

Inter responded less than five minutes later after the two wing-backs combined, with Ivan Perisic floating a cross into the box for Dumfries to leap unmarked and head home.

Inter also had a penalty overturned by the Video Assistant Referee while Jonathan Ikone nearly scored a winner for Fiorentina in added time but Handanovic came to the rescue once again as both sides shared the spoils.

“Ikone could have given us a nice gift in the last minutes, but I’m happy with what the boys did today,” Fiore manager Vincenzo Italiano said.

Torreira’s goal did come at a cost, however, with the 26-year-old revealing after the game that he had lost a tooth.

“I didn’t realise Torreira lost a tooth, but I can only congratulate him on how he gets there in front, he has the right timing as a goalscorer while others are struggling,” Italiano added.

The goal was Torreira’s second in as many games and, following Dusan Vlahovic’s transfer to Juventus, the Uruguay midfielder is now Fiorentina’s joint-top scorer this season with four goals.

Fiorentina remain eighth in the table with 47 points, one point behind Atalanta, who have a game in hand, and AS Roma.

Brilliant Bennacer strike earns leaders Milan win at Cagliari

A brilliant strike from Ismael Bennacer earned AC Milan a 1-0 victory at Cagliari on Saturday, as Stefano Pioli’s side maintained their three-point lead at the top of Serie A.
Second-placed Napoli’s comeback victory over Udinese earlier on Saturday put the pressure on Milan to respond, but they endured a frustrating first half in Sardinia, wasting several chances to break the deadlock.

It took the visitors until the 59th minute to find what proved to be the winner, and it was worth the wait as Olivier Giroud laid the ball off for Algeria international Bennacer to volley into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Milan survived a major scare late on as Leonardo Pavoletti’s last-gasp header came out off the crossbar, but the leaders held on to move onto 66 points from 30 matches played, three clear of Napoli and six ahead of Inter Milan in third.

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Courtesy: Reuters

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