For the first time in 33 years, Napoli won the Italian Serie A title with a 1-1 draw at Udinese. The league top-scorer Victor Osimhen equalized for Napoli in the 52nd minute, sparking wild celebrations around Naples, inside and the stadium in Udine, as the needed draw put them to an unassailable 16-point lead with five games left. Napoli last won the title in 1990.
“It is an amazing feeling, we have waited so many years for this moment,” Osimhen said. “To be able to deliver the Scudetto to the Neapolitans is something that we will never forget in a hurry and will continue to live in our hearts for the rest of our lives.” It was Osimhen’s 46th of his Serie A career, matching former AC Milan player and current Liberia President George Weah as the top African scorers in Italy.
Napoli won the title in the match held at the Diego Maradona Stadium, named after the legendary player who led them to championships in 1987 and 1990. “Napoli, this is for you,” Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said. “There are people here who will be able to get through difficult moments in their lives because they remember this moment. These people deserve all the joy.” More soccer predictions here!
At 64, Spalletti, who twice won the Coppa Italia with Roma, became the oldest manager to win Serie A. Through the first 15 games of the season, Napoli was unbeaten, including an 11-game winning run. They quickly marked an eight-game winning streak after their first loss, an away defeat to Inter, to jump out in front by 18 points and seize control of the Scudetto.
In the title-deciding match, Udinese’s Sandi Lovric took advantage of the penalty area and opened the scoring at half-time. It was almost another miss for Napoli to clinch the title early after a 1-1 draw against Salernitana last weekend, but the 24-year-old Osimhen sealed the deal in the 52nd minute and scored the decisive goal and his 27th in all competitions this season.
The pitch was invaded by fans in the final whistle, while some Neapolitans were singing along to songs by late local singer-songwriter Pino Daniele. Outside the stadium, flares billowed and fireworks were set off to mark the victory. Chaos also erupted in the city with one man died from gunshot wounds and seven people were reportedly injured overnight.