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Napoli 1-1 Salernitana: Dia stunner puts title celebrations on ice
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Luciano Spalletti's Napoli were frustrated by Salernitana
Luciano Spalletti's Napoli were frustrated by Salernitana

Napoli missed a chance to seal their first Serie A title in 33 years as Boulaye Dia's sensational equaliser earned a 1-1 draw for Salernitana.

Inter's victory over Lazio earlier on Sunday meant a win would be enough for Napoli to secure their first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era.

Mathias Olivera looked set to seal his name in Napoli history after heading the Partenopei ahead in the 62nd minute.

Yet Dia's brilliant 84th-minute effort means Luciano Spalletti's side will have to wait until at least Wednesday to officially win the title.

Stadio Diego Armando Maradona was rocking at kick-off following news of Lazio's defeat, though the home fans had to wait until the 23rd minute for their first clear opening, when Victor Osimhen headed over from a free-kick.

The expectant Napoli faithful had their patience tested as the first half wore on — Amir Rrahmani glancing a header wide and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa seeing a good effort saved by Guillermo Ochoa.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia tried his luck from long range after the break, though his shot never had enough dip on it to trouble Ochoa, while Piotr Zielinski sent an acrobatic attempt over.

Zielinski made way for Giacomo Raspadori soon after and that change immediately and emphatically paid off.

Raspadori delivered a fine outswinging corner, which Olivera brilliantly turned home.

Eljif Elmas dragged wide as Napoli searched for a game-settling second, with Kvaratskhelia going agonisingly close.

Dia made Napoli pay, cutting in from the left, getting the better of Osimhen and drilling a wonderful strike into the top-left corner, with subsequent saves from Ochoa frustrating a fervent crowd.

What does it mean? Partenopei's party put on hold

Had Napoli won a game that was delayed by 24 hours in order for public security to be reinforced in the city of Naples, it would have represented the earliest Scudetto success by a side in terms of remaining games before the end of the league season (six).

However, Napoli will have to wait. They lead by 18 points, meaning the title is all but theirs, though there will be frustration that they failed to get the job done at home, with their supporters waiting in droves outside the ground.

Lazio are in action again on Wednesday, and should they fail to beat Sassuolo, the title will be Napoli's. 

Dia strikes again

Dia has now netted 12 times in Serie A, marking his second-best season in a major European league (after scoring 14 with Reims in the 2020-21 season).

Salernitana are unbeaten in nine Serie A matches (W2 D7) – their best run in the competition.

Napoli stars fail to spark

It was a difficult day for Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia. The duo had nine shots between them, but could not find a way through.

What's next?

Napoli face Udinese on Thursday but they will already be celebrating the title should Lazio slip up a day earlier.


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