Napoli's title party put on hold after draw

Runaway league leader Napoli needed to win to secure its third league crown with six games remaining in the season

By AFP

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Napoli's Victor Osimhen reacts at the end of the match. — AFP
Napoli's Victor Osimhen reacts at the end of the match. — AFP

Published: Sun 30 Apr 2023, 8:54 PM

Napoli will have to wait a little longer to seal its first Serie A title in 33 years after being held to a 1-1 draw by Salernitana on Sunday.

Runaway league leader Napoli needed to win to secure its third league crown with six games remaining in the season after Inter Milan beat closest challengers Lazio 3-1 earlier in the day.

And Naples thought a generation of frustration was set to come to an end when Mathias Olivera headed the host into the lead just after the hour mark.

But the long-awaited Scudetto party will have to be put on hold for at least a few more days after Boulaye Dia's stunning strike six minutes from time ensured Salernitana escaped with a point.

"The players are obviously disappointed at not having made our brilliant fans happy tonight. But you've seen for a while that these points are the hardest ones to get," coach Luciano Spalletti told DAZN.

"We represent their dreams and that means it's right that their dreams are realised by us."

The coming midweek round of matches could still finally end Napoli's long wait for glory.

Spalletti's team is 18 points ahead of Lazio but Juve can close that gap to 17 by winning at Bologna in Sunday's late match and moving into second place.

Depending how that match and Juve and Lazio's games on Wednesday go Napoli could be crowned champions before it takes the field at Udinese on Thursday night.

Regardless, a win in Udine will ensure Napoli's current stars emulate Diego Maradona, who led southern Italy's biggest club to its only previous league titles in 1987 and 1990.


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