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  • Updated: April 10, 2022

Serie A: Fiorentina Drop Title Contender Napoli To Third On Table

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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Napoli's hopes of a first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona suffered a blow on Sunday after they slumped to a 3-2 home defeat to Europe-chasing Fiorentina.

Last champions in 1990, Napoli would have moved top of the pile with a win in front of 50 000 fans in Naples but they stay a point behind league leaders AC Milan after goals from Nicolas Gonzalez, Jonathan Ikone and Arthur Cabral condemned Luciano Spalletti's side to a painful defeat.

They could end the weekend four points off the pace with six games remaining in an exciting campaign as Milan travel to Torino in Sunday's late match.

Napoli sit third, level on 66 points with Inter Milan who have a game in hand and are back in the thick of it following their 2-0 win over Verona on Saturday.

"It's a defeat that has cost us a lot," said Spalletti to the press.

"It's more difficult for us now but we don't have any other choice but to continue being top-quality professionals, get back to doing what we do and try to win the next match. But it's not down to us anymore."

The manner in which southern Italy's biggest club flopped on a gorgeous day at the Stadio Maradona does not bode well for the run-in with in-form rivals Roma coming to town next weekend.

Napoli's title challenge four years ago was ended by Fiorentina and the Viola again proved their nightmare.

The hosts were the better side until Gonzalez opened the scoring on the half-hour with a thumping finish off the post, after which Napoli almost vanished from the field until the introduction of Dries Mertens 10 minutes after the break.

Mertens' first act was to almost lift the roof off the stadium by drilling home a superb first-time finish from Victor Osimhen's cutback, but the roars of the passionate crowd were soon extinguished by two quick-fire Fiorentina goals.

Just eight minutes had elapsed since Mertens' leveller when Ikone collected Gonzalez's cross and rifled his team back into the lead, and jeers began ringing around the ground in the 72nd minute when Cabral brilliantly curled in the third.

"Even I don't know how I scored that," said Cabral after his second goal since arriving from Basle in January.

"I received the ball from (Youssef) Maleh and then instinct just took over."

With six minutes left Osimhen, who had struggled all day to get the better of the brilliant Igor Julio, smashed home his 12th league goal of the season which will offer little consolation to the Nigerian and his teammates.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

More From this Author

Serie A 2021/2022 TABLE

Serie A
No Teams P Pts
1 AC Milan 38 86
2 Inter Milan 38 84
3 Napoli 38 79
4 Juventus 38 70
5 Lazio 38 64
Full Table

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Napoli
Napoli

Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli commonly referred to as Napoli is an Italian professional football club based in Naples, Campania...

Fiorentina
Fiorentina

ACF Fiorentina, commonly referred to as Fiorentina, is an Italian professional football club based in Florence, Tuscany. Founded by...

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