Alessio Zerbin scored a late brace from the bench to guarantee Napoli their place in Monday’s Supercoppa Italiana final with a 3-0 victory over Fiorentina in Riyadh.

Napoli, the 2014 winners back when this tournament had a two-team format, set up a clash with either Serie A leaders Inter Milan or Lazio after Giovanni Simeone struck first in a semi-final played in Saudi Arabia.

Jonathan Ikone missed a penalty which would have taken Fiorentina in at the break level and the Tuscan club were thoroughly thwarted in their efforts to outwit Napoli, who rubber-stamped the win in the last 10 minutes with Zerbin’s quickfire brace.

Napoli were first to threaten amid a frustrating opening period, with Matteo Politano letting rip from distance only to see Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano push the shot wide for a corner.

In the 22nd minute the Azzurri made the breakthrough as Simeone collected Juan Jesus’ sumptuous ball from deep and buried it with a diagonal drive.

Fiorentina needed to change tack quickly or suffer a further setback and they got some false hope when Lucas Beltran tucked home only for the goal to be ruled out as Giacomo Bonaventura was offside.

Their luck appeared to have turned just before half-time, however, as Ikone went down in the Napoli box thanks to Mario Rui and duly won a penalty.

It was not to be for the French forward as he beat Pierluigi Gollini but also the crossbar with his wayward attempt from the spot.

When play resumed Napoli looked to rub salt in the wound but Jens Cajuste could not keep his strike down after being set up by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia on the edge of the box.

Arthur continued the trend of sending shots over the bar as Fiorentina began to probe more effectively come the hour mark.

Napoli seemed content to sit on their one-goal advantage and set up camp in their own half, leaving Fiorentina to chase the game. A revolving door of substitutions from the blue side took any momentum out of promising moves from La Viola, though.

Indeed one of those new Napoli faces made their introduction count in the 84th minute as Zerbin, freshly on the pitch for Pasquale Mazzocchi, took his time when the ball fell to him following a corner and calmly slotted in.

Two minutes later it was 3-0 and game over as Zerbin raced forward on a counter-attack to beat Terracciano with a low finish.

Napoli have signed Ivory Coast midfielder Hamed Traore on loan for the rest of the season.

Traore, 23, links up with the Italian champions having made 13 appearances for Bournemouth since arriving from Sassuolo last January.

“From Ivory Coast to Napoli. Welcome Hamed!,” Napoli posted on social media, announcing Traore’s arrival.

Traore began his career at Empoli and initially joined Bournemouth on loan.

The move was made permanent in May 2022 for a reported £20million fee.

A Cherries statement read: “Everyone connected with AFC Bournemouth wishes Hamed well for the remainder of the season.”

Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri hopes his side can keep building their confidence in Thursday’s SuperCoppa semi-final.

His side go up against Fiorentina in Saudi Arabia, where the winner will face either Inter Milan or Lazio on Monday.

Napoli have endured a mixed run of form recently and had lost four of their previous six matches before beating struggling Salernitana in Serie A on Saturday, lifting them to eighth in the league.

Amir Rrahmani struck in stoppage time to snatch a win that Mazzarri hopes has given his side positivity going forward.

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“Our sole focus is the Super Cup right now. The message I’m looking to give to the team is to give their all in our upcoming game,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“I’m happy with Saturday’s win because it’s given the lads confidence and peace of mind. We need to keep this up in order to fully recover the belief that we’d lost in recent times.”

Mazzarri will make a late call on Jens Cajuste and Piotr Zielinski for the semi-final, while Diego Demme is unlikely to feature due to a strain.

In October, Napoli were beaten 3-1 by Fiorentina in the league under former manager Rudi Garcia and striker Giovanni Simeone knows what challenges the team can present.

He said: “We’re really motivated for this game. We’re Serie A title holders and we’re keen to give our all.

“We’re not the favourites – the tie is very much open. However, we’ll go out there with a lot of positive energy.

“Fiorentina play good football and have often caused us issues. We’ll need to try to deny them of possession. We’ll need to put in a top performance, showing mental fortitude, belief and focus.”

Fiorentina have had a great season so far, sitting fourth in Serie A and having reached the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia with a penalty shoot-out win against Bologna earlier this month.

They were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw against Udinese on Sunday in the league, but manager Vincenzo Italiano is hopeful his side can give Napoli a “tough time”.

“We all have one aim: win the semi-final and reach the final to fight for the trophy,” he said.

“Napoli are a strong side, they are Italian champions and have quality players. I’m hoping to have prepared the game in the best possible way to give them a tough time.”

Amir Rrahmani rescued Napoli right at the death as the reigning Serie A champions laboured to fight back and beat bottom side Salernitana 2-1 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Walter Mazzarri’s team, who had lost four of their last six matches including last weekend’s 3-0 reverse at Torino, were looking for a first home win in seven attempts, such is the extent of their decline since claiming the Scudetto under Luciano Spalletti last season.

Matteo Politano’s penalty – the club’s first league goal since December 16 – had spared their blushes before half-time after Antonio Candreva heaped more woe on the underperforming Azzurri with his first-half opener.

Mazzarri’s men were frustrated in their bid to complete the comeback, with last term’s star man Khvicha Kvaratskhelia doing his best to grab a second-half winner – seemingly to no avail.

That honour eventually fell to Rrahmani as, six minutes into second-half stoppage time, the Kosovan centre-back capitalised on a defensive mix-up to fire Napoli up to sixth place in the table.

True to recent form, the Partenopei struggled from the get-go. Norbert Gyomber tried to catch out the home defence with a snapshot from distance in the 12th minute, but Pierluigi Gollini was alert to the danger and pushed the ball around a post.

Loum Tchaouna soon let rip with his left boot after being put through by Candreva, but again Gollini made the block.

Just before the half-hour mark Candreva fired Salernitana ahead in superb fashion. Domagoj Bradaric set him up before he put Politano on the ground and then beat Gollini with a fine finish.

Napoli took the hint and tried hard to bite back before the break, with Guillermo Ochoa keeping out Giovanni Simeone, Politano missing the mark from an excellent position and Gianluca Gaetano trying his luck from distance only for Salernitana’s Mexican goalkeeper to watch it sail wide.

Politano did level four minutes into stoppage time, though. Federico Fazio fouled Simeone in the Salernitana box and the Italy winger made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Jens Cajuste enjoyed a double chance to turn the game in Napoli’s favour when play resumed; first the Swede headed just wide from a corner, then he smashed off-target with his right foot with Ochoa beaten.

Kvaratskhelia forced a frantic save from Ochoa in the 72nd minute as Napoli pushed harder for the win, with the Georgian coming even closer in the last 10 as he arrived from the left flank to unleash a rocket that took a deflection off Gyomber and shaved paint off a post as it went out.

Ochoa continued to fight fires, next repelling Giacomo Raspadori, but right at the death he and Fazio would make a hash of clearing a cross, allowing Rrahmani to ping in a dramatic winner.

Napoli’s dismal season continued as they succumbed to a seventh defeat of the season in Serie A, losing 3-0 at Torino.

Antonio Sanabria, Nikola Vlasic and Alessandro Buongiorno got the goals as Walter Mazzarri’s defending champions had another miserable afternoon.

A dismal afternoon for the visitors was compounded by the 50th-minute dismissal of Naples-born wing-back Pasquale Mazzocchi, less than three minutes into his debut.

They are now winless and without a goal in four matches and lie 20 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

Napoli had a 20-3 aggregate goal advantage in the last eight meetings of these two teams in Turin, winning seven and drawing the other.

However, it was destined to be the hosts’ day from the moment Sanabria broke the deadlock two minutes before half-time.

Duvan Zapata flicked an Ivan Ilic free-kick on for the Paraguay international, who tucked the ball away left-footed from six yards.

Napoli’s hopes of getting back into the contest were killed off as they made a sloppy start to the second half.

Zapata had already forced Pierluigi Gollini into a save at his near post less than two minutes after the restart when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Mazzocchi, a half-time substitute for Piotr Zielinski, had been on the pitch for  three minutes when he received a yellow card for a high, reckless challenge on Valentino Lazaro. However, referee Maurizio Mariani then decided to dismiss the 28-year-old Napoli debutant, following VAR intervention.

Torino soon doubled their advantage, Vlasic beating Gollini with a well-placed low right-footed shot into the corner two minutes later.

Sanabria hit the post from eight yards and Zapata failed to tuck the rebound away from close range, with Gollini blocking with his foot then scooping the ball away before it could cross the line.

However, the dominant hosts made it 3-0 in the 66th minute when central defender Buongiorno headed home a Lazaro corner.

Giovanni Simeone skied an 80th-minute attempt at a consolation goal, capping a miserable Napoli display as Torino moved to within a point of their ninth-placed opponents.

Walter Mazzarri wants reigning Serie A champions Napoli to buck the trend of recording underwhelming results and kick on in 2024, starting with a positive result at his former club Torino on Sunday.

The Azzurri claimed a first Scudetto since 1990 last season but are now languishing down in eighth after losing four of their last seven games, with last week’s goalless draw at home to Monza summing up the current sense of malaise in Naples.

Defending their crown may look a tall order, with leaders Inter Milan already 20 points better off, but Mazzarri just wants to start delivering better performances for the fans.

He said at a press conference: “I would like the trend to be reversed in 2024 and I am confident that in the new year we can do better than we did in the last chunk of the league schedule.

“I’m sorry the team are in this situation because against Monza we created so many opportunities and deserved to win. Unfortunately we failed, not in terms of creativity but with our finishing.”

Mazzarri was the driving force behind Napoli when they re-established themselves in the top flight during his original four-year tenure and the 62-year-old still has a strong feeling of unfinished business at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

“Personally, I feel at home in Naples, and the thing that makes me feel bad is not having been able to do so far what I achieved in my first stint,” he said.

“I feel indebted to the fans, who show me love on a daily basis. I will try to convey this same feeling to my players and I am convinced that the positive turning point will come soon.”

Torino are in their familiar mid-table slot, lying 10th after a four-match unbeaten run ended at Fiorentina last time out.

Raoul Bellanova has been a breakout star for Il Toro this term and next on his agenda is a senior Italy call-up.

The 23-year-old wing-back told Gazzetta: “It depends how well I do here in Turin. Right now I’m trying to give my all for the team.

“I think I’ve improved a lot compared to the start of the season, when I didn’t feel comfortable. It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the team but now I’m feeling confident.

“The next decision belongs to (Italy boss Luciano) Spalletti but I hope it happens because that is my dream.”

Napoli have completed the signing of defender Pasquale Mazzocchi from Salernitana.

The 28-year-old wing-back was born in Naples and moves to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on a three-and-a-half-year contract after making 18 appearances for Salernitana this season.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was first to announce Mazzocchi’s capture with a post on X that read: “Welcome Pasquale.”

He is expected to provide cover for club captain and right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo after making his reported three million euro (£2.6million) switch to the reigning Serie A champions.

Mazzocchi boasts one Italy cap after making his Azzurri debut against Hungary in a 2-0 Nations League victory in September 2022.

Napoli keeper Alex Meret saved Matteo Pessina’s second-half penalty to ensure the Serie A title-holders walked away with a point as they played out a disappointing goalless draw with Monza.

Amir Rrahmani could have given the hosts the lead after the break but wasted a free header, and while Meret made the vital stop to preserve the draw he was worryingly forced off soon after.

Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri was sent off while his side’s finishing woes were highlighted by substitute Gianluca Gaetano’s inability to find the back of the net when in acres of space just outside the six-yard box.

The visitors, who saw Mirko Maric dismissed late in stoppage time, mustered few further chances and would be happy with the point, while the hosts extended their poor run of form at the Maradona Stadium.

Mazzarri was without the suspended Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano, both of whom were sent off against Roma last time out.

Frank Anguissa had a deflected effort comfortably saved while at the other end of the pitch Meret looked on relieved when Pedro Pereira’s early attempt took a deflection before sailing narrowly past his left post.

The hosts had found a slightly stronger foothold by the halfway point in the first period but neither keeper found himself with much work to do.

Giacomo Raspadori nodded wide and Napoli were nearly ahead just before half-time, when an excellent Mario Rui cross found Anguissa in an ideal position but he was only able to direct his effort – easily the best chance of the first half – straight at keeper Michele Di Gregorio.

There was a second-half change for Raffaele Palladino with Samuele Birindelli coming on to replace Pereira, who had been booked, with Napoli wasting an early free-kick near the corner flag.

Rrahmani then somehow sent a free header over the crossbar from Piotr Zielinski’s delivery before Raspadori sent the ball skipping across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Valentin Carboni scuffed an effort for the visitors and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia came close for Napoli, nutmegging the Monza keeper who subsequently smothered the ball before Birindelli forced Meret into his first real save.

While Napoli had looked likelier to score since before half-time, it was Monza who won the best chance after Jesus was penalised for handball inside the penalty area, Pessina stepping up but squandering the spot-kick as Meret proved alert to his intentions.

Meret’s evening worryingly came to a close after 74 minutes and, with Pierluigi Gollini a last-minute absentee from the matchday squad due to an left ankle issue, on came Nikita Contini, while Giorgio Cittadini would soon replace the injured Danilo D’Ambrosio for the visitors.

Mazzarri, who had previously been booked, was sent off after he got involved in a touchline scuffle, while Rui, Kvaratskhelia and finally Gaetano seemed only able to direct efforts directly at the keeper as they ran out of time to find a winner.

Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri warned his side cannot afford any more slip-ups as they look to kick-start their campaign against Monza.

The Partenopei return to action after the Christmas break looking to avoid a third straight Serie A defeat with a lengthy injury list.

Brazilian defender Natan is the latest player facing a spell out because of a dislocated shoulder while midfielder Stanislav Lobotka has a cracked rib.

Forwards Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano are also both missing through suspension following their dismissals in the defeat at Roma.

Mazzarri, though, maintains the squad will just have to cope as best they can as the defending champions aim to close on the top four.

“It’s a huge game against Monza. We need to play with attacking impetus and also strike the right balance,” Mazzarri told a press conference.

“We can’t have any more slip-ups. We need to get back to our brilliant selves and restore our confidence levels.”

Mazzarri, who returned for a second spell at Napoli in November, added: “We have deserved two or three more points from my first cycle back in charge based on how we have performed and how we have played on the front foot.

“That is my only regret, but I’m here to help the lads out and I’m confident we can improve.

“When we’re playing well, we usually impose our game on everyone. We’re also improving defensively.

“Unfortunately, we’ve paid for some mistakes which have led to us dropping points. The aim is to have attacking threat while striking the right balance and remaining solid.”

Mazzarri feels Napoli are not far away from turning promising performances into positive results.

“I can see that mentally this team has fire on the inside and is acquiring the sort of spirit that I like. We need to channel that energy in a positive way,” he said.

“I am sure that as soon as a few things go our way, we will see a Napoli side that never gives up and shows what we are capable of – that is what will show we are on the right path.”

Monza coach Raffaele Palladino feels his side must be “hungry” to get themselves back on track following their own run of three defeats from the past four games.

“We want to put in a great performance,” said Palladino, who returns to his hometown club. “We face the Italian champions who have great players.

“I saw a good week (of training). We worked well and we want to score points. We have to start doing well again. I want a team hungry for results.”

Lorenzo Pellegrini and Romelu Lukaku steered Roma to a 2-0 win against nine-man Napoli in an ill-tempered Serie A clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Matteo Politano saw red for Napoli shortly after the hour mark, with substitute Pellegrini putting the home side ahead 10 minutes later.

The visitors then lost Victor Osimhen after he was shown a second yellow card, with Lukaku sealing the win for Roma in the sixth minute of stoppage time. Roma move ahead of Napoli and into sixth place.

Both sides had a point to prove following recent disappointing defeats – Roma suffering a 2-0 loss at Bologna last weekend, while Napoli were dumped out of the Coppa Italia earlier this week following a 4-0 thrashing at home to Frosinone.

Following nine changes for their Coppa Italia exit, defending champions Napoli were back to full strength for their visit to the Italian capital, with marksman Osimhen leading the line.

Roma manager Jose Mourinho was able to call on Lukaku with the on-loan Chelsea forward returning from a ban after he was sent off in his side’s 1-1 draw against Fiorentina a fortnight ago.

Lukaku was involved in the first real chance of the game when his hold-up play allow allowed Edoardo Bove to strike at the Napoli goal, but the young midfielder’s dipping effort clipped the bar.

Bove was in the thick of it moments later when his shot was superbly charged down by Napoli stopper Alex Meret.

Then came a flurry of bookings with Mourinho not far from the action. The former Chelsea and Manchester United manager was involved in a touchline spat with Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and even found himself in referee Andrea Colombo’s book.

Following the break, Napoli started to grow into the game but their bid for victory was derailed when Politano was shown a straight red card with 66 minutes gone.

As Napoli looked to hit Roma on the counter-attack, Nicola Zalewski pulled Politano’s shirt and the winger kicked out in frustration at his opponent. Colombo did not hesitate in showing Zalewski a yellow card before pulling out a red for a stunned Politano.

The visitors were suddenly on the backfoot and Roma’s breakthrough quickly arrived.

Pellegrini, introduced by Mourinho only five minutes earlier, took advantage of a fluffed shot by Stephan El Shaarawy to score on the turn with virtually his first kick of the game.

Napoli were then reduced to nine men after Osimhen was shown a second yellow card with four minutes of normal time remaining before Lukaku got on the scoresheet with the last kick of the night.

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has signed a new deal with the club.

The 24-year-old has extended his stay with the reigning Serie A champions until 2026.

Osimhen had been linked with a move away from the club, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid just three of the clubs reportedly interested in signing the prolific forward.

After beginning his senior career with Wolfsburg, the Nigeria international arrived in Naples from Lille in July 2020 and has been a key cog up front.

Osimhen topped the Serie A goalscoring charts last season with 26 in 32 appearances as Napoli secured the Scudetto by 16 points and scored 31 goals in all competitions.

He has endured an injury-hit start to the current campaign, forcing him to miss some games, but has still managed to score seven goals in 12 league games, with his last coming against Cagliari last Saturday.

Jose Mourinho has warned his Roma side to beware the threat posed by defending Serie A champions Napoli ahead of their clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night.

Walter Mazzarri’s men suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Frosinone in the Coppa Italia in midweek to add to a testing campaign which has left them 14 points off the pace.

Despite last week’s loss at Bologna which ended a run of five domestic games unbeaten, Mourinho’s men will leapfrog Napoli in the table if they manage to claim all three points.

But Mourinho warned the visitors are still much the same side who swept to the title last season, with the exception of star man Kim Min-jae – a summer signing for Bayern Munich – and departed coach Luca Spalletti.

Mourinho told a press conference: “They’ve had problems in terms of a few results, but not the quality of their players.

“They’re the same team that won the league last year, without Kim. Out of the starting 11 that won them the Scudetto, 10 are still playing.

“They have so many options in every position and they’re a top team. We know what the difficulties are. Every time we’ve faced Napoli, the result has always gone down to the wire.”

Napoli had shown signs of turning their season around in recent weeks after ending a run of two straight losses by reaching the next stage of the Champions League then beating Cagliari last week.

But Tuesday’s home loss, which saw Frosinone inflict most of the damage after Napoli had introduced stars including Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia off the bench, left Mazzarri perplexed.

“Perhaps the first-choice players are not accustomed to coming off the bench and absurdly we did better with the lads who don’t play as often,” Mazzarri told Italian media.

“We need to reflect on that. It’s a pity – you can lose in football, but not 4-0. We looked like everyone was just doing their own thing.

“I hope this can be a lesson for the future, as from tomorrow we must all look each other in the eye and change gear.”

Serie A champions Napoli were dumped out of the Coppa Italia following a shock 4-0 defeat to Frosinone at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Napoli had been the favourites to reach the quarter-final stage, but second-half strikes from Enzo Barrenechea, Giuseppe Caso, a Walid Cheddira penalty and Abdou Harroui saw Frosinone record a famous victory.

Walter Mazzarri’s side have endured a turbulent defence of the Serie A championship they secured after a 33-year wait, falling 14 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan with just 16 matches played.

But after ending a three-game losing run to secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League place with a 2-0 win against Braga, and then recording a 2-1 victory against Cagliari in the league, Napoli will have expected to take a third win on the bounce against a Frosinone side who were making their debut in the round of 16.

Mazzari made nine changes to the side which beat Cagliari last weekend, while Frosinone boss Eusebio Di Francesco retained only three players from the side that lost at Lecce.

Giovanni Simeone appeared to have given Napoli the lead nine minutes before the interval only to see his goal disallowed by VAR after Jesper Lindstrom was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.

After the interval, Napoli continued to probe for the opener – with Mario Rui’s free-kick striking the woodwork – but the Italian champions were suddenly on the back foot when Barrenechea headed home a corner shortly after the hour mark.

Frosinone then doubled their lead when Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s misplaced pass was intercepted by Caso, who made no mistake in slotting past Napoli goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini with 70 minutes gone.

The home supporters were left stunned as the six-time winners were suddenly facing up to another early exit from the Coppa Italia after their defeat at this stage of the competition by Cremonese last season.

And it would only get worse for Mazzarri’s men when Matias Soule was fouled by Di Lorenzo in the area with Cheddira, on loan from Napoli, scoring Frosinone’s third of the night from the penalty spot before Harroui netted a fourth deep into stoppage time.

It sealed Frosinone’s first ever win against Napoli, and a quarter-final against either Juventus or Salernitana.

Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri hailed a “thrilling” match in prospect after his side were drawn against Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Serie A champions will face their LaLiga counterparts in February after progressing from a tough group which contained Real Madrid, Braga and Union Berlin.

It took a victory on the final matchday against the Portuguese side before qualification was confirmed.

And their reward is a meeting with a Barca side who last played at this stage of the competition in 2021 having been eliminated in the group stage in each of the last two seasons.

Mazzarri replaced the sacked Rudi Garcia in November with two games of the group to go and helped salvage their campaign after dropped points against Real and Union had placed their future in the tournament in jeopardy.

“I said after the match against Cagliari that all the teams who have qualified for the round of 16 are strong and therefore any draw would be difficult,” said Mazzarri.

“This one against Barcelona is especially difficult. For Napoli it will be a thrilling prospect.”

Mazzarri could turn to youngsters Giovanni Simeone, Alessandro Zanoli and Gianluca Gaetano for Tuesday’s Coppa Italia last-16 meeting at home to Frosinone, with the opportunity to rest more established players against the side sitting 13th in Serie A.

Striker Victor Osimhen is one of the players likely to sit out, with either Simeone or Giacomo Raspadori coming in to deputise.

Piotr Zielinski, Mathias Olivera and Eljif Elmas all missed the recent meeting with Cagliari, but Mario Rui could return.

Frosinone boss Eusebio di Francesco called on his side to be more clinical in front of goal against the champions after they went down 2-1 to Lecce on Saturday.

“We have to be a little more concrete and, when the team plays interesting patterns, it’s good,” he said.

“But we have to be more determined and aggressive in front of goal.”

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia bagged the decisive goal as Napoli returned to winning ways in Serie A with a 2-1 victory over Cagliari.

A frustrating first half was littered with opportunities for Napoli, with their best effort coming from Amir Rrahmani’s header, but the visitors came close through Tommaso Augello and Adam Obert.

The game suddenly kicked into life in the second half with three goals in six minutes when Victor Osimhen fired the hosts ahead, but Leonardo Pavoletti quickly equalised before Kvaratskhelia had the final say to net Napoli’s winner minutes later.

Victory ensured Walter Mazzarri’s side bounced back from two consecutive league losses and moved fourth in the table, while Cagliari continue to linger above the relegation zone.

Napoli had a chance in the opening minutes from a free-kick as Stanislav Lobotka chipped the ball to Kvaratskhelia on the right, who fired wide from a tight angle.

The hosts dominated the early stages as Osimhen tested Simone Scuffet twice and they broke from a Cagliari corner but Matteo Politano’s shot was deflected for a corner.

The winger then had an effort scooped up by Scuffet as the hosts continued to push for the opener, coming close again when Edoardo Goldaniga stuck out a leg to block Osimhen’s shot.

Cagliari had a great chance in the 21st minute when a corner was cleared as far as Augello, who fired from the edge of the box but the ball was deflected just wide of the post.

Napoli came close again in the 29th minute as Politano floated a free-kick to Rrahmani on the right, but his header smashed off the far post before being cleared and they were frustrated again when Jens Cajuste cut in from the right and fired over.

Cagliari had a brilliant opportunity from the break as Antoine Makoumbou launched a fantastic cross-field pass to Nahitan Nandez, but Alex Meret did well to rush forward and make the save.

The visitors had a chance just seconds into the second half but Obert’s effort was held by Meret and Napoli’s frustrations continued when Frank Anguissa’s powerful effort sailed over the bar.

The hosts eventually found the opener in the 69th minute when Osimhen’s header was palmed away by Scuffet and despite his best efforts, the ball smashed off the post and into the net.

Napoli’s lead was shortlived as Cagliari captain Pavoletti came back to haunt his former club, bundling in Zito Luvumbo’s cross from close range to level just three minutes later.

However, Napoli suddenly retook the lead in style in the 75th minute as Osimhen kept the ball with some superb skills before passing low across the six-yard box for Kvaratskhelia to smash home at the far post.

Politano then had a goal ruled out for offside before the visitors had a great chance to level in the final minutes when Alberto Dossena headed over the bar.

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