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Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
25.6 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Napoli ruin Sampdoria Vialli and Mihajlovic send-off to move seven clear

    MILAN (AFP) – Napoli extended their lead at the top of Serie A to moved seven points on Sunday after they won 2-0 at grieving Sampdoria and AC Milan threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Roma.

    Victor Osimhen poked Napoli ahead in the 19th minute before Eljif Elmas sealed the points with a perfectly-place penalty with eight minutes remaining at a soaking Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa.

    The win means Napoli lead both second-placed Juventus, winners over Udinese on Saturday who travel to Naples on Friday, and Milan by the same margin after seeing their advantage cut to five last Wednesday.

    After netting his league-leading 10th goal of the season Osimhen was also the victim of a brutal foul from Tomas Rincon, who was sent off in the 38th minute for chopping the 24-year-old down as he charged towards goal.

    Luciano Spalletti’s side bounced back from their defeat at Inter Milan last Wednesday and dampened an emotional evening for Sampdoria whose fans said goodbye to two of their most popular former players.

    Napoli’s Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen after scoring a penalty. PHOTO: AFP

    Gianluca Vialli’s death to pancreatic cancer on Friday at the age of 58 was particularly painful for supporters as the former Italy forward is one of Sampdoria’s all-time greats and a key figure in their only league title triumph in 1991.

    Sinisa Mihajlovic, who played for Sampdoria in the mid-1990s and later managed the club, succumbed to leukemia last month and Sunday’s match was their first home fixture since he passed away.

    The Samp players warmed up for the match in shirts bearing Vialli’s number nine, while fans in the stands chanted both players’ names as a wreath was laid in their honour by visibly moved coach Dejan Stankovic.

    A giant banner hung in the stands for Vialli read “Striker. Champion. Legend”. Another said “Thanks to you we know that nothing is impossible.”

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