Lookman’s Goal Not Enough to  Ruin Osimhen’s Return for Napoli

Lookman’s Goal Not Enough to  Ruin Osimhen’s Return for Napoli

Duro Ikhazuagbe 

A demola Lookman almost ruined Victor Osimhen’s return to action after he was sidelined by a hamstring injury for six weeks as Napoli snatched a late winner to beat Atalanta 2-1 in Serie A clash on Saturday evening.

Osimhen who suffered the hamstring injury on international duty with the Super Eagles in October in Portugal came into the game as a 64th substitute for Giacomo Raspadori.

Before Osimhen tasted action, his Nigerian teammate, Lookman, had in the 53rd minute cancelled out Napoli’s opening 44th minute goal by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who headed home Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s cross.

 Lookman headed into the far bottom corner an inviting Hans Hateboer flick from the right flank.

Osimhen who for the first time since January 2022 was in action without his trademark mask, played his first match for new coach Walter Mazzarri, who replaced sacked Rudi Garcia. This is Mazzarri’s second coming to Napoli in a decade.

Although he didn’t get on the scorer’s sheet, it was Osimhen who barely 11 minutes to regulation time, cashed on Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi’s poor clearance to tee up Eljif Elmas to seal victory and three points for Napoli.

The Nigerian striker has bagged six goals in eight appearances this season.

Napoli are now third on the table with same 24 points with AC Milan who had a late Saturday night fixture against Fiorentina. The Partenopei are seven points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

Elsewhere in the Italian topflight last night, Salernitana finally got their first win of the season in a comeback from Ciro Immobile’s historic penalty, as Grigoris Kastanos and Antonio Candreva stunned Lazio2-1.

New coach Pippo Inzaghi was without injured Boulaye Dia, Loum Tchaouna and Guillermo Ochoa. The Aquile were struggling too, with Luis Alberto suspended, Alessio Romagnoli, Matias Vecino, Mattia Zaccagni and Nicolò Rovella carrying knocks.

It was extremely windy in Salerno and that made it very tricky for Ivan Provedel when Antonio Candreva’s cross only grazed the head of Grigoris Kastanos.

Moments later, Emil Bohinen’s ferocious strike from the edge of the area bounced off the crossbar with Provedel beaten.

Lazio fought back too, Felipe Anderson intercepting a loss pass only for his finish to be deflected over by Norbert Gyomber.

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