Gripped by nerves, Napoli misses excellent opportunity for national title
Napoli still has to be patient with its long-awaited national title. An excellent opportunity was squandered at home against Salernitana.
If they won, Napoli would have been Serie A winners for the first time since 1990, and Mathias Olivera’s liberating header goal after more than an hour of play also seemed to usher in a big popular celebration, until Boulaye Dia’s fine 1-1 goal seven minutes before time.
The lead over the competition remains generous, but the next chance is on foreign soil. Out, at Udinese.
Lazio’s points loss at Inter earlier in the day meant that frontrunner Napoli could become champions as early as Sunday. In fact, Lazio needed to win to delay Napoli’s celebration.
Inter, however, was lord and master in the early stages, also got the necessary chances and seemed to get to 1-0 through Henrich Mchitarjan. The Armenian turned out to be offside and three minutes later Felipe Anderson did score at the other end. Just before halftime, former Ajax goalkeeper André Onana prevented Ciro Immobile’s 0-2.
Dumfries falls in
After halftime, the best chances were again for Inter, where Denzel Dumfries had entered the lines, but it was not until the last quarter of an hour that Lautaro Martinez (twice) and Robin Gosens, who came in after an hour, found the net. The latter was replaced by Stefan de Vrij shortly after his 2-1.
The victory lifted Internazionale to fourth place, although it has as many points as AC Milan and AS Roma, the number five and six who are also vying for a Champions League ticket.