Napoli haven’t made life easy for themselves in recent days as they’ve looked to close in on their third Serie A title, but they did just get over the line to be crowned Italian champions for the third time in their history on Thursday evening on Matchday 33 by coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Udinese. It was, fittingly, a Victor Osimhen goal that proved enough for the Partenopei’s lead at the top of the Serie A table to become insurmountable.
Having passed up an opportunity to win the scudetto at home against Salernitana on Matchday 32 with a 1-1 draw, Napoli had to wrap things up 850 kilometres from their Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Back home in Naples, though, a sold-out Maradona watched on as fans packed out their home stadium to watch the title-winning game against Udinese on big screens.
It was Napoli who led first against Salernitana only to let their lead slip, so when the Zebrette took a first-half lead through Sandi Lovric in Friuli-Venezia Giulia they knew that things could yet change. As good as the hosts were in the first half, there was a lot of football to be played.
That was likely the message from Luciano Spalletti to his players as they trailed at the break. Attacking their own fans in the second half, they came out after half time looking like their usual selves.
Not even ten minutes had passed before a loose ball fell Osimhen’s way in a crowded box and he was able to find a gap between Zebrette bodies to find the net. Knowing a draw would be enough for Napoli to win the title, scenes of jubilation were sparked in both Udine and Naples. Just as Mathias Olivera’s opener against Salernitana days earlier caused celebration so wild that tremors resembling an earthquake and registering on the Richter scale were felt in Naples, Osimhen’s strike prompted similar celebratory scenes back home at the Stadio Maradona.
Once Napoli had equalised the result was never in doubt. They went in search of a second goal and were buoyed by their leveller, but by the end they were more than happy to see the game out and instructed by a mature 24-year-old Osimhen showing incredible leadership to see the Partenopei over the line.