Victor Osimhen's Double-Goal Contributions Inspires Napoli Back To Winning Ways With A 2-1 Win Over Cagliari. {WATCH VIDEO}

Victor Osimhen once again grabbed the headlines with his crucial double-goal contribution in Napoli's hard-fought 2-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday night in Naples.


The win sealed a return to winning ways for SSC Napoli who had been winless this month following back-to-back league defeats to title rivals 3-0 at home to Inter Milan and a 1-0 loss away at Juventus last weekend.

It’s been a stuttering form this season for Napoli who only ended a three game losing streak across competitions with a 2-0 win at home to Braga on Tuesday night to secure a place in the Champions League round of 16.


They needed a boost to defeat a struggling Cagliari side, as another league defeat, would’ve meant they’d dropped as many points in 16 games as they did in their entire Scudetto-winning Serie A campaign last season.


Kick-off at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium was delayed by 30 minutes, as strong winds damaged part of the roof leading to concern over stadium safety, and an inspection meant more time was needed to get all the fans in their seats.


Osimhen showed off his CAF Men’s Player of the Year award to Napoli fans before the kick-off, as he paraded the trophy accompanied by his family.



The Super Eagles star became the first Nigerian to win the award in 24 years. He was named African Footballer of the Year in a a ceremony which took place in Marrakech, Morocco on Monday night, after scoring 26 Serie A goals to help Napoli win the Scudetto last season, and was the highest ranked African player in eighth position at the 2023 Men’s Ballon d’Or.


After a disappointing goalless first half of squandering a number of chances, Osimhen finally gave the defending champions the lead with a towering header in the 69th minute courtesy of a cross from MΓ‘rio Rui. 

The 24-year-old is currently joint-third in the Serie A top scorer race, after convincingly winning it last season. He has now scored seven goals and two assists in 12 league appearances for the Partenopei. 


Cagliari shockingly replied just three minutes later draw things level through Zito Luvumbo setting up Leonardo Pavoletti, before Osimhen turned provider for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia three minutes later again (75 mins), but this time the goal was decisive enough to see off Ranieri’s gutsy, determined side.

 

Osimhen had drew six players around him as he juggled with his chest and knee, toying with Cagliari defence, before managing to turn and square passed the ball towards Georgian strike partner Kvaratskhelia who made no mistakes from close range as he rifled home what turned out to be the winner. 

That was Kvaratskhelia’s second goal in nearly two months.


However, Osimhen sparked concern among the Napoli faithful when he left the pitch immediately after that goal seemingly carrying a knock but questions over whether the substitution was a precaution or concerning.

He has been linked with a move to Premier League giants Chelsea, who are looking for a quality number nine in the January transfer window, although, CloudNine Sports recently reported that he is close to signing a new deal with the reigning Serie A champions that will see his release clause rise to €130 million (£112m/$142m).


It was Napoli's second win in six league matches, as they move into the Serie A top four, while Cagliari could find themselves in the relegation zone by the end of the weekend sitting just a point above a bottom three all yet to play.


Walter Mazzarri’s side are two points ahead of fifth-placed Roma and Bologna, who face off tomorrow, and AC Milan also facing a potential banana skin in the form of Monza.

Napoli’s title defence already looks unlikely as they are 11 points behind Inter Milan ahead of the league leaders’ match at Lazio on Sunday night.

They next return to action in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday when they take on Frosinone in a round of 16 clash.




 

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