Napoli star Victor Osimhen described his match-winning header as the "most important goal of my career" after the record-equalling Serie A leaders preserved their perfect start to the season.

Osimhen rose highest to head home the winner with nine minutes remaining in Napoli's 1-0 victory at home to Torino on Sunday.

Napoli made it eight wins from eight games – the only team with a 100 per cent record in the top-five European leagues – to equal their best start to the Serie A season (after 2017-18), despite Lorenzo Insigne's missed penalty in the first half.

Osimhen revelled in his goal afterwards, with only Real Madrid's Karim Benzema (seven) and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland (five) scoring more goals than the Nigerian forward (five) in September and October in the major five European leagues this year.

"It was the most important goal of my career," Osimhen said post-match. "I'm so pleased. The atmosphere at the stadium was incredible. The fans pushed us forward and we managed to get the three points.

"We never gave up, we attacked until the end and deserved the win. I saw the ball fly up and I thought I could get there before the defenders.

"I connected well and scored such an important goal for me and the team."

Napoli – who last won the Scudetto in 1989-90 – are two points clear of second-placed Milan.

"When you have strong players in attack, there are more solutions, so you always hope something can happen," Spalletti told DAZN.

"… I've seen an improvement in terms of mentality and compactness. Seeing [Matteo] Politano and Insigne track back is something that unites, gives strength and creates team spirit.

"We have a team of friends. We also want to propose a good football and tonight we were at a very good level. We built, fought and were willing to give what this game required."

"We obtained a big win for our fans who deserve it. We feel the passion for their love for these colours and the team. It was important to feel their joy tonight."

Insigne is the player who has missed the largest number of penalties (three) this season in the five major European leagues.

The Napoli captain missed his sixth penalty out of his 26 attempts in Serie A – considering only the current season, the Italian forward has scored two penalties out of his five attempts.

Since Napoli returned to Serie A in the 2007-08 season, they are the team that have missed the highest number of penalties in the five major European leagues (35).

"Lorenzo has a strong bond, especially with his team-mates who are helping him. He was sorry for not giving his contribution," Spalletti said. "For me, Insigne will take the next one, then it will be Lorenzo's turn and then the captain's."

Steve Bruce's days at Newcastle appear to be numbered.

Rumours of possible replacements are swirling, with plenty of managers having been mentioned. 

Frank Lampard may well lead the race.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD FAVOURED TO REPLACE BRUCE

Frank Lampard is the leading candidate to step in once Steve Bruce is inevitably shown the door at Newcastle, The Sun reports. 

The Telegraph claims Lampard and former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre top the new owners' wish list.

The 43-year-old Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January 2021, about six weeks after Favre, 63, left Dortmund. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Ousmane Dembele, who is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

- Dortmund and RB Leipzig are the top potential landing spots for 19-year-old Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi, reports Sky Sport Germany.

- Feyenoord will make another effort to prise Amad Diallo from Manchester United in January, according to The Sun, after a potential loan move fell through due to injury during the last transfer window. 

- Club Brugge and Belgium midfielder Charles De Ketelaere is drawing interest from Milan and Napoli, says Calciomercato, with Everton and West Ham also monitoring the 20-year-old.

- Former Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is expected to finalise his deal with Venezia on Tuesday, reports Fabrizio Romano. 

Erling Haaland has his pick of Europe's elite.

The Borussia Dortmund and Norway star is wanted by the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

But Premier League champions City are one particular club looking to prise Haaland from Germany if the rumours are to be believed.

 

TOP STORY – CITY HOPING TO CAPITALISE ON PUMA PARTNERSHIP

Manchester City are hoping their Puma sponsorship and a looming boot deal can help land Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Daily Star.

City's kits are manufactured by Puma, while Haaland is reportedly poised to sign a boot deal with the German giants.

Haaland has been linked with City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus.

 

ROUND-UP

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juve are planning an approach to bring United midfielder Paul Pogba back to Turin. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and while United are keen for a renewal, the Frenchman has been linked with Madrid and PSG also.

- United captain and England defender Harry Maguire is poised for a new bumper contract at Old Trafford, reports the Mirror.

Liverpool are considering a move for Barca's Ousmane Dembele with Juve unwilling to part with Federico Chiesa, says Team Talk.

- According to Football Insider, Newcastle United have made star Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly a priority signing in January. It comes after Newcastle's blockbuster takeover.

PSG are targeting Napoli's soon-to-be free agent Lorenzo Insigne, per Le10 Sport. Insigne has also been linked with Inter and Milan.

- Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek is wanted by Serie A powerhouse Juve, claims Corriere dello Sport. Van de Beek was in talks over an Everton switch during the previous window.

- Milan star Franck Kessie is among Barca's midfielder targets for the January window, says Diario Sport. Van de Beek, Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Marcelo Brozovic of Inter are also options.

Giorgio Chiellini says he felt "ashamed" by the racist abuse Napoli players were subjected to by Fiorentina fans during Sunday's Serie A game at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Kalidou Koulibaly, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Victor Osimhen were targeted during leaders Napoli's 2-1 victory in Florence.

Koulibaly called for those guilty of the abuse to be banned for life and Italy captain Chiellini demanded that strong action must be taken.

The Juventus centre-back said: "It is unacceptable. We need laws and rules that are applied, this is the most important thing.

"I was ashamed, as an Italian and a Tuscan, also because Italy is not a racist country for me.

"Something more must be done, otherwise from outside we give a bad image of ourselves "

Defender Koulibaly was targeted by spectators as he was interviewed on the pitch after the game.

According to reports by II Napolista, Fiorentina's director general Joe Barone went to Napoli's changing room to apologise personally.

Osimhen slammed the perpetrators in a tweet, writing: "Speak to your kids, your parents, make them understand how disgusting it is to hate an individual because of the colour of their skin. NO TO RACISM."

Koulibaly followed suit on Twitter, where he said he was called a "monkey".

He added: "They called me that. These people have nothing to do with sport. They must be identified and kept out of the stadiums. Forever."

Serie A has had issues with racist behaviour from supporters already this season.

Milan last month filed an official complaint to the Federal Prosecutor's Office following Tiemoue Bakayoko's claims that he and Franck Kessie were abused by a section of Lazio fans.

Kalidou Koulibaly has called for permanent bans for the fans who targeted himself, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Victor Osimhen with racist abuse in Sunday's match between Napoli and Fiorentina. 

The three Napoli players were the subject of racist chants from some sections of the Fiorentina support during the game.

Koulibaly, who helped Napoli to a 2-1 win, was also targeted by spectators as he was interviewed on the pitch by DAZN after the game.

According to reports by II Napolista, Fiorentina's director general Joe Barone went to Napoli's changing room to apologise personally.

Osimhen hit out at the perpetrators in a tweet, stating: "Speak to your kids, your parents, make them understand how disgusting it is to hate an individual because of the colour of their skin. NO TO RACISM."

Koulibaly followed suit, revealing the fans called him a "f****** monkey".

"'Monkey of s***. F****** monkey'", Koulibaly's tweet began.

"They called me that. These people have nothing to do with sport. They must be identified and kept out of the stadiums. Forever."

Serie A has had issues with racist behaviour from some supporters already this season.

In September, Milan filed an official complaint to the Federal Prosecutor's Office following Tiemoue Bakayoko's claims that he and Franck Kessie were abused by a section of Lazio fans.

Is the end nigh for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford?
 
Wan-Bisakka joined Manchester United in a big-money deal in 2019 but the Red Devils are reportedly ready to replace the Englishman.
 
A talented RB Leipzig defender could be the team's next right-back.

 

TOP STORY – NEW RIGHT-BACK SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD?

Manchester United are eyeing RB Leipzig right-back Nordi Mukiele, according Fichajes.net.

United are reportedly keen to sign a replacement after losing patience with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be interested in Leipzig's 23-year-old star Mukiele.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Milan and Juventus are interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi. The 18-year-old has also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Inter are willing to let Alexis Sanchez leave the Serie A champions, reports Calciomercato. Marseille, Real Betis and Sevilla are among the possible options for the 32-year-old Chilean.

Tottenham are weighing up a move for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, per Fichajes. It comes amid continued uncertainty over Spurs star Harry Kane, who has been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus as well as United.

 

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne stressed the Serie A leaders are staying grounded amid their flawless start to the season.

Insigne scored as red-hot Napoli – who have not claimed the Scudetto since 1990 – made it six wins from six league games with a 2-0 victory at home to Cagliari on Sunday.

Napoli star Victor Osimhen opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Insigne doubled the lead with a penalty 12 minutes into the second half.

Luciano Spalletti's Napoli have won each of their first six Serie A seasonal matches for the second time in their history after 2017-18, but Insigne insisted the team are not getting carried away.

"We've started well, but we need to keep our heads down, our feet on the ground, because it's a very, very long road ahead," Insigne told DAZN, with Napoli two points clear of Milan.

"It's an incredible feeling [with the fans], I am trying to enjoy it and repay everyone with my performances and helping the team to win the games."

Napoli have kept a clean sheet in three consecutive Serie A matches for the first time since February 2019.

Osimhen, meanwhile, has scored the joint-most goals in September across all competitions among the players in the top five European leagues – level with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.

"The coach wants us to enjoy ourselves while we are working," Insigne said. "As captain, I can only say we need to keep our feet on the ground, as we missed out on the Champions League by a point last season, so we have to make up for that.

"We try to play Spalletti's football, he knows we were disappointed to only be in the Europa League and he’' trying to lift us up."

Cristiano Ronaldo is showing no signs of slowing down, despite his advancing years.

But the evergreen 36-year-old is still planning for life once he decides to call it quits.

A coaching career in Manchester is believed to be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE OLD TRAFFORD

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to stay at Manchester United beyond his retirement, according to The Sun.

Ronaldo is back at United for a second spell after re-joining from Juventus before the transfer window closed, having left Old Trafford in 2009.

The 36-year-old, however, is already planning for life after football as he eyes a coaching role with United's youth team in order to work with his son Cristiano Jr.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are interested in Juventus star Federico Chiesa, who has also been linked with Borussia Dortmund.

- Chelsea are preparing to make a big-money move for Juve centre-back Matthijs de Ligt after missing out on Sevilla star Jules Kounde, reports Diario AS.

- The Daily Mail says Arsenal and Tottenham are eyeing a January loan move for Barcelona misfit Philippe Coutinho.

- Staying in London and the Mirror claims Tottenham are considering an approach for Juve's Dejan Kulusevski.

Atletico Madrid are hoping to sign Fabian Ruiz from Napoli, according to Calciomercato. Determined to prise the Spain international, LaLiga champions Atletico could use Marcos Llorente as part of the deal. Fabian has also been linked with Real Madrid and Barca.

- Per Corriere della Serra, United, Chelsea and Juve are among the heavyweight clubs plotting a move for disgruntled Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has found himself on the bench since joining on a free transfer.

 

Nine men were arrested following clashes between Leicester City and Napoli fans ahead of Thursday's Europa League game at the King Power Stadium. 

Trouble flared both in and outside the ground, with eight of those arrested by Leicestershire Police identified as fans of Serie A club Napoli.  

It was also confirmed on Friday that a man from Leicester was detained on suspicion of violent disorder.

"Nine men were arrested yesterday evening (Thursday, September 16) following a report of football-related violence in Leicester," a Leicestershire Police statement said. 

"Shortly before 6pm, police received a report of a fight taking place in Millstone Lane involving fans of Napoli and Leicester City. 

"Eight men, identified as Napoli fans, were arrested at the scene in connection with the incident. Following further enquiries, a 27-year-old man from Leicester was later arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. 

"All men remain in custody at this time. 

"Prior to the match taking place, a report was received that a taxi driver had been racially abused. A 39-year-old man from Italy was subsequently arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. He has been dealt with by way of a community resolution." 

Leicester and Napoli fans also threw objects at each other towards the end of a game that finished 2-2. 

Jonny Evans may have suffered a fresh injury setback with Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers revealing he will need to be assessed.

Evans returned to the Leicester starting line-up for Thursday's 2-2 draw with Napoli in the Europa League after a foot injury but was replaced at half-time.

The Northern Irishman had returned competitively for the first time since the FA Cup victory in May as a substitute in Saturday's 1-0 home loss to Manchester City.

Rodgers would not elaborate on the specifics of the injury but admitted Evans was in doubt for Sunday's Premier League clash with Brighton.

"It probably will do," Rodgers said when asked if the issue will affect Evans' availability.

"I felt he was struggling to push off, so we’ll see how he is in next 24-48 hours."

The former Manchester United defender made 28 league appearances last season for the Foxes.

Leicester had been leading 2-0 against Napoli after goals from Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes, before Victor Osimhen's late double earned the visitors a point.

Wilfred Ndidi was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time to compound a disappointing end to the game for Leicester.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t win the game," Rodgers said. "We were in a great position, but we were playing against a really experienced team and we just couldn’t see it through. We’ll learn from that.

“I said to the players afterwards, there was so many good things in the game, but we’ve got to keep the ball better because by the end, when you don’t have the ball so much and you’re chasing the game, you can tire that little bit.

“We had some players getting their first 90 minutes of the season as well, and then obviously, their big striker [Osimhen], who’s £70-odd-million, so you can see his quality, and he gets his two goals.

“Overall, if you can’t win it, even though we were in a good position, you make sure you don’t lose it and the point is a start for us. Now, we’ve got another nine or 10 to go.”

Victor Osimhen completed a late double to bring Napoli from behind and salvage a 2-2 draw against Leicester City, who finished the game with 10 men.

Napoli were behind after just nine minutes thanks to Ayoze Perez's first goal in 15 games in the Europa League Group C opener at the King Power Stadium.

Harvey Barnes set up the opener and looked to have wrapped the three points up for Leicester in the 64th minute, but Osimhen got them back in the game with a beautiful lob over Kasper Schmeichel.

Osimhen then headed home a dramatic equaliser in the 87th minute to maintain Napoli's unbeaten start to the season, with Wilfred Ndidi shown a second yellow card in stoppage time to compound a disappointing end to the game for Leicester.

Massimiliano Allegri has full faith in his Juventus squad turning around their campaign and challenging for the Serie A title after falling to a 2-1 loss at Napoli.

Juve's slow start to Allegri's second spell in charge continued on Saturday as second-half goals from Matteo Politano and Kalidou Koulibaly earned Napoli a comeback win.

The Bianconeri, who led through Alvaro Morata's 10th-minute strike, have now failed to win any of their first three league games for just the second time in 52 Serie A seasons.

Saturday's late loss also means Allegri has failed to win any of his past eight league games in charge of Juve either side of a two-year sabbatical.

After collecting just one point from their first three matches of the 2021-22 campaign, six-time Scudetto winner Allegri is adamant that his side will grow stronger.

"I have ample trust in this group. I know they will make up the lost ground," he said. "This group is destined to grow thanks to the blows taken.

"This evening's defeat was different and we must quickly put it behind us."

After profiting from a Kostas Manolas error to take the lead in Naples, Juve themselves gifted their opponents – who now have three wins from three – a couple of goals.

Wojciech Szczesny parried Lorenzo Insigne's shot into the path of Politano for Napoli's leveller and could only push a poor Moise Kean header straight to Koulibaly for the late winner.

It is the first time since March 2010 that Napoli have recovered from a losing position to beat Juventus in the league and Allegri accepts his side were not good enough.

"I liked the attitude of the team in the first half, but in the second half Napoli got the upper hand. Sometimes you are made to pay for individual mistakes," he said.

"Szczesny does not lack calmness. He made a mistake with his handling today, but he will be in the team on Tuesday.

"As for Kean, these things happen in football sometimes. We also conceded similar goals to Udinese and Empoli

"From a technical point of view, we could have done better. We haven't won yet, but now we start thinking about our next match in the Champions League."

That European tie with Malmo on Tuesday is followed five days later by a huge clash with Allegri's former side Milan at the Allianz Stadium.

"We know that we need to be more lucid near the area, though the team did what I asked of them today from a tactical point of view against a good Napoli side," Allegri added.

"In football there is no room for mistakes. We have an important test ahead of us that we must overcome in order for it not to become a mental thing."

Juve, who were missing some key players on Saturday, managed just eight shots in total against Napoli and none at all on target in the second half.

That makes it back-to-back blanks for the Bianconeri since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club to rejoin Manchester United, but Allegri reiterated he is eager to move on from that high-profile exit.

"Ronaldo is part of the past, he made a choice," Allegri said. "Now he's gone. Juve let him go because you can't keep a player against your will."

Juventus' slow start to life under Massimiliano Allegri continued on Saturday as second-half goals from Matteo Politano and Kalidou Koulibaly saw them lose 2-1 at Napoli.

After being held by Udinese before suffering a shock home defeat to Empoli, it looked like being third time lucky for Allegri in his second spell in charge as Alvaro Morata profited from a terrible Kostas Manolas error to open the scoring early on.

But Napoli responded through a Politano strike shortly before the hour mark after Wojciech Szczesny pushed the ball into the forward's path, and the hosts completed the comeback thanks to Koulibaly's finish five minutes from time.

It is just the second time in 51 Serie A campaigns – the other occasion being in Allegri's first tenure in 2015-16 –  that Juventus have failed to win any of their first three games to a Serie A season.

Napoli started the match on top but found themselves behind against the run of play when Morata caught Manolas in possession and beat David Ospina from a tight angle.

Dejan Kulusevski was denied by a fine Ospina save soon after, although the offside flag would have denied the forward, who was making his first start of the campaign.

Napoli showed good resolve to find an equaliser as a shot by Lorenzo Insigne, making his 400th appearance for the club in all competitions, was parried by Szczesny and Politano reacted quickest to squeeze home.

The hosts always looked the more likely to find a winner in the remaining half an hour and so that proved when Moise Kean's poor defensive header was fumbled by Szczesny for Koulibaly to score from a yard out.

 

Are three stars set for Real Madrid?

Madrid have long been linked with soon-to-be free agent Kylian Mbappe, who reportedly wants to leave PSG for the Santiago Bernabeu.

In-demand forward Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba are also believed to be targets of the Spanish powerhouse.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE, HAALAND AND POGBA WANTED IN MADRID

Real Madrid are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Marca.

Madrid tried to sign Mbappe before the transfer deadline but the LaLiga giants are expected to reignite their interest at the end of the season, when the PSG star is set to become a free agent.

It could be a busy off-season at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Haaland and Pogba are also wanted.

Haaland has been linked with United, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona, while Pogba is reportedly wanted by PSG and Juve.

 

ROUND-UP

- FootMercato claims PSG have started their pursuit of Milan star Franck Kessie, who is also reportedly attracting interest from Tottenham. Kessie is out of contract at the end of the season.

Inter could target Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso to replace soon-to-be free agents Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivan Perisic, per Calciomercato. The Serie A champions have also been linked with Eintracht Frankfurt's Filip Kostic.

Bayern face competition from Barca and Liverpool for Salzburg forward Karim Adeyemi, says Bild.

Franck Ribery's arrival at Salernitana was compared to Diego Maradona joining Napoli, but the veteran winger just wants to help the club retain their Serie A status. 

It was confirmed on Monday that Ribery, 38, had signed a one-year contract at the Stadio Arechi. The deal will be extended for another year if the club achieve certain sporting objectives. 

The former France international was a free agent after leaving Fiorentina, where he spent two seasons following the conclusion of a trophy-laden 12-year stint with Bayern Munich. 

He will spend 2021-22 with Salernitana, who have started their first top-flight campaign in 23 years with back-to-back defeats against Bologna and Roma. 

Salernitana sporting director Angelo Fabiani last week said Ribery could have the same impact on the club's profile as Maradona did at Napoli. 

Ribery was keen to steer clear of such hyperbole when presented to the media, though. 

"I know the director compared my arrival to that of Maradona at Napoli, but I didn't come here to talk about the titles that I won. When I'm on the field, the trophies I have lifted do not count," said Ribery. 

"I feel great and I am available to help Salernitana achieve safety. It's important to find a rhythm immediately, but I am aware that training with the team is very different to personal preparation. 

"I am a technical player, but I know the team matters and I have to help the younger players. My role in the locker room will have to be important. Communication makes the difference. 

"My mentality is completely different. I need a little time, but starting from tomorrow [Tuesday] I will join the group and I spoke with the medical staff and the coach about getting me ready. 

"The passion of the people here is incredible. I will never forget the crowd that was in the stadium for me. I still managed to get excited despite having played in the most prestigious stadiums in the world. It's up to me to repay their trust." 

Ribery has made 50 appearances in Serie A, scoring five goals and registering nine assists. Ahead of 2021-22, he was one of only five players to have scored in each of the past 17 seasons in the top five European leagues. 

The Frenchman completed 117 dribbles during his two seasons at Fiorentina. No player aged 30 or above at the end of the 2020-21 campaign had accumulated as many in the same time frame.

Fabiani added: "Ribery is an absolute phenomenon who has won everything in his career. 

"I hope that Ribery's arrival can help the team do something extraordinary." 

Page 1 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.