Napoli 0-0 Hellas Verona: Disjointed Partenopei held as Osimhen returns

By Sports Desk April 15, 2023

Napoli dropped rare points in their quest for the Serie A title as Luciano Spalletti's leaders were held to a disappointing goalless draw by Hellas Verona at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

With Spalletti managing his squad ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Milan, fit-again striker Victor Osimhen began on the bench alongside Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. 

Napoli lacked inspiration in a low-key affair and went closest after the late introduction of their star duo, Osimhen rattling the crossbar with a terrific volley.

While Napoli's first Scudetto since 1990 appears a formality with their lead at the summit standing at 14 points, Spalletti will demand far better with their European dreams on the line next time out.

Napoli thought they had the lead when Matteo Politano's drive deflected in after 20 minutes, but the goal was ruled out due to the offside Mathias Olivera interfering with the play.

Alex Meret was forced to push a rasping long-range strike from Kevin Lasagna away as the break approached, with the depleted hosts struggling to create during a flat opening period.

Napoli skipper Giovanni Di Lorenzo nodded narrowly wide from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa's cross 56 minutes in, before Giacomo Raspadori sent a prodded effort off-target.

Spalletti introduced Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen – the latter for his first club appearance in almost a month – as Napoli grew more desperate, but the relegation-threatened visitors continued to stand firm.

Osimhen almost enjoyed a dream return when he struck a fierce volley from the edge of the area with eight minutes left, but his strike crashed off the woodwork and away as Verona held on – even missing a glorious chance to snatch the win when Cyril Ngonge shot wide from a rapid break.

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