Napoli will have to wait a bit longer to become the champions of Italy for the third time in their history after drawing 1-1 with Salernitana at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Serie A Matchday 32.
The Neapolitans had a great chance to seal their first league title since 1989/90 after Inter defeated Lazio 3-1 earlier in the day but they faced a stubborn Granata side. Salernitana coach Paulo Sousa set his team up to defend against the Partenopei but they left Naples with an unlikely point and put themselves in a better position to avoid relegation.
Salernitana stifle Napoli’s fluidity
The match was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination as Salernitana were set up to nullify Napoli for the majority, especially in the first half. The plan was working for approximately 60 minutes, but the game changed once Luciano Spalletti brought on Giacomo Raspadori and Eljif Elmas for Piotr Zielinski and Hirving Lozano.
Mathias Olivera, who started in place of the injured Mario Rui, was the unlikely goalscorer for the Partenopei with a header, while Boulaye Dia equalised with less than 10 minutes to go for Salernitana with a stunning strike.
Despite a late burst from Napoli to try and score the winner, they could not find the decisive goal and they will have to wait until their next match against Udinese to potentially seal the Serie A title.
Ochoa a revelation for Salernitana
At 37 years of age, Guillermo Ochoa should be in the twilight of his career, but the Mexico international has been sensational since his arrival in the winter transfer window.
In many games, he has earned Salernitana points by making a plethora of saves, and this game against Napoli was no different. Even with the protection ahead of him, he remained agile and alert against the Partenopei.
The Campanian side should be safe from relegation and the heroics of Ochoa have been most welcome.