Napoli have maintained their unbeaten start to the Serie A campaign by beating Udinese 3-2 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Saturday afternoon.
The goals came courtesy of Victor Osimhen, Piotr Zielinski and Elif Elmas and it ensures that Napoli are in a great position at the top of the Serie A table when play resumes after the World Cup.
Ilija Nestorovski got a goal back for Udinese with 10 minutes to go and then Lazar Samardzic added another a few minutes later.
Osimhen and Zielinski score again
It only took 15 minutes for Napoli to take the lead against Udinese and it was Osimhen who added his ninth Serie A goal of the season. It was a goal that perfectly sums up his threat in the air.
The ball was worked out to Elif Elmas on the left and he cut inside and played a superb cross into the box where Osimhen rose highest and headed in, despite pressure from two defenders.
The lead in Campania was doubled after half an hour when the in-form Zielinski made it 2-0. The Polish midfielder has been deeply impressive all season and his goal was very in keeping with that.
He picked up the ball just inside the box, cut back to remove a defender from the equation, and just placed the ball into the far top corner with ease.
It was proving to be an incredibly easy end to the first chunk of the season for Napoli as Elmas added a third goal on the hour mark. The ball was fed to the Macedonian star down the left in acres of space and he expertly sat a defender down in the box before calmly finishing past Marco Silvestri.
There was a goal from Nestorovski with 10 minutes to go which seemed to merely serve as a consolation for Udinese but Samardzic then added another to make it 3-2 with eight minutes still left to play.
Napoli reign supreme
The win over Udinese means that Napoli are firmly cemented at the top of the Serie A table as the World Cup break begins. It is not a position that many thought they would be in after the summer exodus, but the new signings have settled in extremely well.
The Stadio Diego Armando Maradona has witnessed some superb football in the opening 15 games and Luciano Spalletti’s side are unbeaten, winning 13 and drawing two. Even if Lazio and AC Milan win their games on Matchday 15, Napoli will be eight points clear.
They also have less disruption than others in terms of players going to the World Cup.