A hat-trick last weekend. A goal and an assist this weekend to climb to the top of the Serie A leaderboard. Victor Osimhen delivered another strong performance to extend Napoli’s winning streak to nine Serie A games with a 2-1 victory over Atalanta in a lead clash on Saturday. “Osimhen has substance, physicality and speed,” said Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti. “He was a little tired tonight after playing (four) days ago, but he made an impact. He did what he needed to do.” The victory left Napoli six points clear of reigning champions AC Milan, who edged out Atalanta with a 2-1 win over Spezia, who drew with Daniel Maldini. Atalanta are eight points behind in third. It also got Napoli back in action after being beaten by Liverpool in the Champions League for their first defeat in all competitions this season – even though Napoli still won the group.
Atalanta, on the other hand, are not playing in Europe this season and have had all week to prepare for this game. Ademola Lookman opened the scoring for Atalanta with a penalty after a handball by Osimhen. Osimhen redeemed himself four minutes later by equalizing with an imposing header after finding space between three defenders for his eighth goal of the season.
In the 35th minute, Osimhen made the provider as he cleared the way for Merih Demiral on the right flank to cross that Elif Elmas redirected with a deflected shot after going over Atalanta defender Hans Hateboer. Elmas was a surprise starter on the left wing in place of star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who was ruled out of the trip with “acute lower back pain”. It was widely expected that Giacomo Raspadori would start in place of Kvaratskhelia, but Spalletti was rewarded for choosing Elmas. “Atalanta played a great game, which shows how important it was to leave with three points here,” said Spalletti.
Chasing their first Serie A title since the days when Diego Maradona played for the southern club, Napoli have already beaten three main opponents in Milan, Roma and Atalanta – with games against Empoli and Udinese remaining before the long break for the World Cup. . Napoli will not face Inter Milan and Juventus until January. MALDINI VS. MALDINI On loan from the Milan team that his father and grandfather captained, Daniel Maldini scored for Spezia against his father Paolo, Milan’s sporting director.
And what a goal it was. The 21-year-old Maldini cut inside the left edge of the area and shot into the far corner for Spezia’s first away goal this season. It was Maldini’s second career goal in Serie A, having scored against Spezia last season in his first match for Milan. Olivier Giroud won for Milan with an acrobatic volley in the 89th minute after Theo Hernández put the Rossoneri ahead with an expert chest control and volley.
Earlier, Cremonese came out of last place with a 2-2 draw with 10th-placed Salernitana, courtesy of an equalizing goal from Davide Ciofani, who converted the rebound from his penalty. Salernitana defender Matteo Lovato appeared to lose consciousness briefly after hitting his head and went on a stretcher. Furthermore, Empoli beat Sassuolo 1-0 in a mid-table clash with a goal from Tommaso Baldanzi.