With a 2-0 victory against Sassuolo on Sunday, Napoli maintained its unblemished start to their Serie A championship defense. Meanwhile, Juventus held Bologna at bay in a 1-1 draw despite a penalty debate.
15 minutes into Napoli’s first home game since winning the league championship in front of their supporters for the third time in June, Victor Osimhen scored his third goal of the year from the penalty spot.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo, the team’s captain, ensured that Napoli would make it six points from six in the 64th minute, just after Maxime Lopez was dismissed and Giacomo Raspadori, whose penalty had struck the post seconds before kickoff, sent a shot into the crowd.
Di Lorenzo said, “I thought we played well, kept the ball, and we’re thrilled to have won the game in front of our supporters.
“As a team, we performed well. We’ve got everything we need for a successful season because we’ve got a solid start and the proper mentality.
The return of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who made his season debut an hour into a lopsided match at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, set up Di Lorenzo’s first goal of the campaign.
Kvaratskhelia made his imprint only three minutes after stepping in for Italy striker Matteo Politano. He scored 14 goals and assisted on the same amount of goals previous season.
The Georgian moved a few steps forward before sliding Di Lorenzo in for a straightforward low finish despite being mobbed by defenders close to the penalty area.
Despite the fact that it is still early, Napoli’s new coach Rudi Garcia has a difficult act to follow in new Italy manager Luciano Spalletti, who was the mastermind behind the Scudetto victory.
The next week, Napoli, who shares first place in the standings with Verona and AC Milan, will face Lazio, a team that has yet to register a win after losing 1-0 to promoted Genoa.
Mateo Retegui, an Italian attacker who joined from Boca Juniors last summer, scored his first Serie A goal as Lazio, who finished second last season, were defeated at home.
It was encouraging for Spalletti since, in the next month’s Euro 2024 qualifying matches against North Macedonia and Ukraine, Italy will need to score goals.
Bologna penalty-kick rage
Outraged Bologna held Juventus in Turin, but the unimpressive hosts were left with unanswered questions when what seemed to be a clear penalty was disallowed just before Dusan Vlahovic earned them a point.
At the Allianz Stadium, Vlahovic scored a goal with 10 minutes left to tie the score after Lewis Ferguson had given Bologna a well-deserved lead halfway through the first half.
Bologna, however, were shocked when on-field and VAR officials refused to penalize Samuel Iling-Junior for bringing down Dan Ndoye and preventing him from tapping in from close range. Iling-Junior then provided the assist for Vlahovic’s equalizer.
Bologna was so incensed by the choice that coach Thiago Motta declined to speak to the media after the match, prompting a furious response from the club’s CEO Claudio Fenucci.
Fenucci said, “I’ve been doing this job for 25 years, and I don’t often go on TV to comment about referees.
“An unbelievable refereeing judgment cost us the victory… It seems inconceivable that such a challenge would not result in a foul and a red card.
Even Paul Pogba’s return to the midfield after a year of fitness issues wasn’t enough to spur Juve to victory; the France star contributed nothing as a second-half replacement as Juve huffed and puffed ineffectively.
Juve put forth a lackluster performance that put the notion that they are once again championship contenders to the sword.
Pogba told DAZN, “I’m obviously happy to be back, but I’m also a little disappointed with the result.”
“We didn’t lose, which is a good thing,”
Thanks to goals from Hamza Rafia and Nikola Krstovic, Lecce came back from being down 2-0 at the half to tie Fiorentina 2-2.