Relentless Napoli continue title march, Lazio second after Derby triumph

Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia were again the heroes for Napoli on Sunday as the Italian champions beat Torino 4-0 to take their Serie A lead to 19 points after Lazio finished second with a 1-0 derby win in Rome had become.

Nigerian striker Osimhen took his goal tally to 21 as the league leaders with two superb header goals, one in each half, and Kvaratskhelia’s 35th-minute penalty in between.

Kvaratskhelia then scored Tanguy Ndombele’s first Serie A goal in the 68th minute after a superb Osimhen overtake as Napoli took another step towards their first league title since 1990 in front of an army of fans in Turin.

It was their first away trip since the end of a two-month travel ban for fans following a dust cloud with Roma fans on the Autobahn in January.

“They hope. They believed in it for so many years and their support was so good,” Osimhen told DAZN.

“No one deserves this more than the Napoli fans… I’m really happy to be able to put a smile on their faces.”

Fans were on hand to see their team put on a typically dominant display, meaning Napoli will be 18 points clear of Inter Milan with 11 games remaining in a worst-case scenario if Simone Inzaghi’s fickle side Juventus in Sunday’s big game defeated.

It seems only a matter of time before Napoli seal a historic title that came after a stunning football campaign that convinced Osimhen they can also win the Champions League.

They face an Italian derby in the quarter-finals with AC Milan and possibly another with Inter in the last four, but it would be hard to bet against a side who appear to have caught lightning in a bottle and then used everything their way .

When Kvaratskhelia scored his 14th goal of the season, Torino put up no resistance. They have fallen to 11th and are level on 37 points with Bologna and ninth-placed Fiorentina, who beat Lecce 1-0 for their seventh straight game in all competitions.

– Lazio’s derby joy –

Lazio Roma are Napoli’s closest challenger, awaiting Inter’s clash with Juve thanks to Mattia Zaccagni’s winner that ensured his side scored the double over 10-man Roma.

A typically fiery derby match was preceded by tensions between fans and the police and a Lazio fan show quoting William Shakespeare’s play Henry V.

But the spectacle on the pitch left a lot to be desired, especially after Roger Ibanez saw red for two stupid tackles in the 32nd minute.

That was the first of five red cards in total, with each team sending off a staff member just before half-time before Roma’s Bryan Cristante and Lazio’s Adam Marusic were also sent off after a post-match scuffle.

Roma were without suspended coach Jose Mourinho and fell back to keep Lazio out, a tactic that stifled the game until Zaccagni scored a fine ninth goal of the season in the 65th minute.

Seconds later, Roma fans gathered at the south end of the Stadio Olimpico exploded when Nicolo Casale accidentally deflected the ball into his own goal from a set piece situation.

But the Lazio fans, home supporters for this derby, had the last laugh as the goal was wiped out for Chris Smalling being ruled offside.

“It’s a great win that allows us to look to the upcoming games with more enthusiasm, it’s as good as it gets,” said Zaccagni after climbing into the stands to celebrate with the fans.

Fifth-placed Roma missed a chance to advance into the Champions League positions and stay a point behind AC Milan, who lost 3-1 at Udinese on Saturday night.

Earlier, Manolo Gabbiadini had lifted Sampdoria from bottom of Serie A with two goals in a 3-1 win over fellow contenders Verona.


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