Tag: Napoli

Fiorentina routs Napoli to diminish Serie A hopes

Napoli’s hopes of winning Serie A for the first time since 1990 suffered a setback as a 3-0 rout at the hands of Fiorentina handed Juventus a clear advantage in the race for the title.

Defending champions Juve are four points clear with three games remaining.

Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off for kicking Giovanni Simeone, and the Argentinian struck thrice to lift La Viola to a first win in four games for mid-table Fiorentina.

Napoli played for 84 minutes with 10 men.

This season’s Serie A campaign has been one of the most exciting title chases in Europe’s major leagues, when Napoli moved to within a point of Juve after Koulibaly’s dramatic late headed winner against the leaders.

However, it is advantage Juventus again after Napoli suffered only their third league defeat of the season a day after Juve’s dramatic 3-2 win at Inter Milan.

Koulibaly was sent off after a video assistant referee (VAR) decision for preventing a clear scoring opportunity. Simeone then sprinted clear to set Fiorentina on their way and doubled the lead from close range.

Simeone, 22, completed his hat-trick with a composed finish in almost the last kick of the game.

Napoli reignites title race with victory over leaders Juventus

Napoli reignited the Serie A title race in dramatic fashion on Sunday when Kalidou Koulibaly scored with a towering header in the last minute to give them a 1-0 win at the league table leaders, Juventus.

Maurizio Sarri’s side cut the gap between them and the Turin side to one point with four matches to play, setting up a dramatic finale to the Serie A season.

Juventus, chasing a seventh successive title, still face difficult matches away to Internazionale and Roma.

Napoli dominated the match but seemed to have run out of ideas and energy until the final minute when Jose Callejon’s outswinging corner was met by the Senegal international with a mighty header which left Gianluigi Buffon helpless.

Juve had needed steel in defence to nullify Napoli’s forward line but a key figure was removed from the back three early on when Giorgio Chiellini suffered an injury during a clash with Lorenzo Insigne.

Stephan Lichtsteiner replaced him and despite the disappointment of the enforced change to the game plan, Juve came close to scoring with a little over a quarter of an hour on the clock in Turin.

Napoli will hope to capitalise on any slip-up by their modern rivals when they tackle the likes of Torino, Sampdoria and Crotone across their remaining fixtures.

Napoli loses ground in Serie A chase after Donnarumma wonder save

Juventus moved six points clear at the top of Serie A after Napoli were held to a 0-0 draw by AC Milan at San Siro on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side controlled much of Sunday’s encounter, but could not find a way to score, with Gianluigi Donnarumma pulling off an incredible save to deny Arkadiusz Milik in stoppage time.

They would also have themselves to blame Lorenzo Insigne and Marek Hamsik passed up decent opportunities either side of the interval, while the offside flag had denied Mateo Musacchio a goal for Milan late in the first half.

Substitute Milik looked set to win this game late on, but he failed to beat Donnarumma from point-blank range.

Milan’s determined display gave them a platform to hit Napoli on the counter, and only terrific defending from Raul Albiol prevented Nikola Kalinic putting Gennaro Gattuso’s side ahead midway through the second period.

A third draw in five league games moves Napoli on to 78 points — six shy of Juventus who won 3-0 over Sampdoria later on Sunday.

Douglas Costa, a 43rd-minute substitute, assisted all three goals.

Mario Mandzukic slammed home Costa’s cross at the end of the first half and Benedikt Howedes headed in his first Juve goal from another centre, and the Brazilian also found Sami Khedira to guide home a third goal.

Juve, who have dropped only four points in the Italian top flight since 19 November, would host Napoli for what potentially could be a title-deciding game next Sunday.