Napoli’s hopes of winning the Serie A title this season suffered a huge blow as they surrendered a two-goal lead at Empoli in seven stunning second-half minutes to lose 3-2 on Sunday.
⏱ 90+6 | Full time#EmpoliNapoli 3-2
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) April 24, 2022
With Empoli without a victory in their previous 16 league games before Napoli’s visit, Luciano Spalletti’s side was expected to get the victory that would have seen them keep pace with league leaders Inter Milan.
They were, even more, overwhelming favourites after a fine finish from Dries Mertens in the first half, and captain Lorenzo Insigne’s arrowing effort eight minutes into the second period put them in firm control.
Napoli held the lead until the 80th minute until they inexplicably left Liam Henderson all alone to get the hosts back in the game, before a goalkeeping howler from Alex Meret let Andrea Pinamonti into level three minutes later.
79'—Empoli 0-2 Napoli
87'—Empoli 3-2 Napoli
Napoli really let in three goals in seven minutes with the title race on the line 🤯 pic.twitter.com/27uoNVmoK5
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) April 24, 2022
The drama, however, was not done there, as Pinamonti slid in at the far post three minutes from time to send the home fans into raptures, and leave Napoli defenders looking at each other wondering how they had thrown this encounter away.
The defeat leaves Napoli third in the standings, without a win in three league games, and five points behind Inter having played a game more. Empoli stay 14th despite that rare victory.