Victor Osimhen Scores As Napoli Beat Cremonese To Extend Lead To 16 Points Over Inter Milan.

Napoli extends their lead at top the table to 16 points after beating strugglers Cremonese 3-0, courtesy of goals from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen and Eljif Elmas.

The Partenopei continue their push for a first Serie A title since 1990 on Sunday night when they welcomed bottom-placed Cremonese to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in a game that was closer than the scoreline might suggest.

Cremonese who are yet to have a single Serie A win this season, had knocked Napoli and Roma out of the Coppa Italia to set up a semi-final with Fiorentina in April. Cyriel Dessers, David Okereke, Matteo Bianchetti, Giacomo Quagliata, Cristian Buonaiuto and Luka Lochoshvili didn’t make the trip for the visitors.

Before Kick-off of the encounter, Nigeria's Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen was presented with his January Player of the Month award in the Serie A after netting 5 goals and registering 1 assist in 5 games.

He beat fellow compatriot Ademola Lookman (Atalanta), Paulo Dybala (AS Roma) Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) and Luis Alberto (Lazio) to the award.

Despite starting the game well, and having several clear chances, stubborn Cremonese failed to get a goal, as a bit of excellence from Kvaratskhelia handed Luciano Spalletti’s side a 21st minute lead.

The Georgian had kept the ball from going off the pitch and went on to finish his solo effort with a low shot into the bottom right corner following an unchallenged burst into the area.

It was a good way for Kvaratskhelia to crown his 22nd birthday celebration today, as he grabbed his ninth goal, 11 assists in 18 league games this season, his first ever in top European league.

He also has 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 Champions League games since Napoli invested €10m to sign from Dinamo Batumi in July 2022.

Napoli returned for the second half and became completely and utterly dominant, as striker Victor Osimhen continued his superb form doubling their advantage shortly after the hour mark (65th minute).

He tapped home from close range after Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s effort had been superbly saved.

It was Osimhen's 17th goal, 3 assists in 18 league games this season. The 24-year-old, becomes  the first Napoli player to score in six straight Serie A games since Gonzalo Higuain in 2015/16. He has eight goals so far in 2023, that more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

At this rate, he could end the season well as both Serie A's top goalscorer and best player.

Substitute midfielder Eljif Elmas put the game beyond reach 11 minutes from time, after the 23-year-old North Macedonia player was set up by defender Di Lorenzo to finish brilliantly.

The victory sees Napoli register a ninth consecutive Serie A home victory, as they get a perfect revenge for their Coppa Italia exit against this same team. 51 points now separate the two sides who sit at the opposite ends of Serie A.

Luciano Spalletti's men are now 16 points above second-placed Inter Milan, who travel to face another struggling side Sampdoria on Monday night.

Cremonese are still without a league win this season, and remain bottom of the standings on eight points.

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