Napoli rout Sampdoria to extend perfect start

Published September 25, 2021
TAMMY Abraham (second R) of AS Roma scores against Udinese during their Serie A match at Stadio Olimpico.—Reuters
TAMMY Abraham (second R) of AS Roma scores against Udinese during their Serie A match at Stadio Olimpico.—Reuters

ROME: Five matches. Five wins.

Victor Osimhen scored twice, Hirving Lozano helped set up three goals and Napoli imp­r­essed in a 4-0 win at Sampdoria on Thursday to extend their perfect start to Serie A.

Chasing their first Serie A title since Diego Maradona led the Partenopei to their only championships in 1987 and 1990, Napoli returned to the top of the standings, two points ahead of defending champions Inter Milan and AC Milan.

In the other early game Ciro Immobile converted an added-time penalty to give Lazio a 1-1 draw at Torino.

In the late game, Tammy Abraham scored his first home Serie A goal to give Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma a 1-0 victory over Udinese.

Sampdoria held Inter to a draw this month and were seen as a potential obstacle for Napoli but Luciano Spalletti’s team controlled from the start.

Osimhen started things off when he pushed in a cross from Lorenzo Insigne at the far post with a cushioned volley after 10 minutes at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, having already come close minutes earlier.

Passes from Lozano and Insigne set up Napoli’s second for Fabian Ruiz from the edge of the 18-yard box after 39 minutes.

Osimhen then needed only one touch to redirect a Lozano cross from the centre of the area after 50 minutes.

Lozano also had the assist when Piotr Zielinski pounded in another for Napoli nine minutes later, on a play started by the newly acquired midfielder Andre Anguissa, who is on loan from Fulham.

Roma moved one point behind the Milan clubs with their seventh win in eight matches across all competitions under Mourinho, after edging out Udinese with Abraham scoring the only goal.

Teenage right back Riccardo Calafiori battled up the wing and into the penalty area in the 36th minute. His hard low cross beat Marco Silvestri’s dive at the near post but forced Abraham to quickly adjust his feet, turning his back to goal and guiding the ball into the unguarded net with the heel of his right boot as he fell over.

Roma finished the game with 10 men after skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini was shown a second yellow card in the 90th minute.

In Turin, penalty specialist Immobile snatched a point for Lazio with a 91st-minute spot kick. Marko Pjaca gave Torino the lead in the 76th minute with a crisp header.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2021

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