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Napoli 3-0 Cremonese: Osimhen helps exact Coppa Italia revenge
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Victor Osimhen added another goal to his Serie A tally
Victor Osimhen added another goal to his Serie A tally

Victor Osimhen extended his lead atop the goal charts as he helped Serie A leaders Napoli to a 3-0 win against rock-bottom Cremonese.

The Nigeria international prodded home a close-range finish in the second half to add to Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's earlier effort at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Eljif Elmas added a late third, making sure.

For home coach Luciano Spalletti, the three points came with a side order of revenge after his side were knocked out of the Coppa Italia last month by their visitors, and they go 16 points clear for now.

But for Cremonese boss Davide Ballardini, the fight to seal top-flight survival is growing dimmer by each matchday, despite a spirited performance from his team.

Taking to the field in the Valentine's Day strip they debuted against the same opponents in their earlier cup clash, Napoli dominated matters across the first quarter.

It was little surprise when they opened the scoring in the 21st minute, with Kvaratskhelia seizing on a poor clearance to dance his way back into the box for a low finish.

Both teams fluffed further good chances, including a missed header for Osimhen, while the hosts also had a penalty appeal waved away just before the break.

Hirving Lozano went close to adding a second Napoli goal seven minutes into the second half, when he forced Marco Carnesecchi into an acrobatic save.

There was no denying Osimhen in the 65th minute, as he flicked Kim Min-jae's header over the line following a corner kick that was parried by the goalkeeper.

That gave Osimhen a 17th league goal of the season in just his 18th appearance, with his haul putting him five clear of Ademola Lookman and Lautaro Martinez in joint-second.

With a two-goal cushion, Napoli could have cruised to the finish line, but Elmas fired in with just over 10 minutes to go to ensure it would be an even more comfortable conclusion.

What does it mean? Love is in the air for Napoli

In their distinctive seasonal strip, the hosts further cemented their place as the runaway leaders in Serie A.

They have 59 points from 22 games now, a figure only bettered twice at this stage of a top-flight campaign in Italy, by Inter in 2006-07 and Juventus in 2018-19, with 60 each.

Osimhen maintains rich form

The Capocannoniere — Serie A's top goalscorer honour — looks destined for the Nigeria international at this rate, with another strike to bolster his tally.

He scored 14 in 27 league appearances last year, and has already exceeded that figure in fewer matches this term. It's looking more and more like a coronation for him.

Cremonese remain in dire straits

Ballardini doesn't need to be told his side are a long shot for survival this term, but he will be disappointed with the relatively toothless performance after last month's efforts.

The visitors mustered a solitary shot on target and had almost half the amount of possession their hosts did, with a meagre 33.6 per cent. They continue to look for a first league win of the campaign.

What's next?

Napoli travel to Sassuolo on Friday while Cremonese stay on the road and face Torino a week on Monday.


Serie ASSC NapoliCremonese
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