Napoli emphatically ended Lecce’s 100 per cent home record in Serie A with a 4-0 victory at the Stadio Via del Mare.

Goals from Leo Ostigard and substitutes Victor Osimhen and Gianluca Gaetano had the visitors in control before Matteo Politano converted a penalty in added time.

Both teams started the day in the top six with 11 points from six games but Rudi Garcia’s men were good value for their fourth win of the campaign to maintain the pressure on the Milan clubs.

Garcia made three changes following the convincing 4-1 defeat of Udinese in midweek, with Mathias Olivera, Giovanni Simeone and Jesper Lindstrom coming in for Mario Rui, Osimhen and Politano.

Napoli had early control in sunny Puglia with Lecce, the season’s surprise package, struggling to make an impression.

The visitors’ early enterprise was rewarded in the 16th minute when they took the lead, central defender Ostigard heading in Piotr Zielinski’s free-kick from the left unchallenged at the far post.

Lecce won only three home games last season but had already beaten Lazio, Salernitana and Genoa this time around and falling behind sparked them into life.

Roberto D’Aversa’s men, who saw their best start to a Serie A season end on Tuesday with a 1-0 loss at Juventus, threatened in the 25th minute when Nikola Krstovic brought a low, diving save out of goalkeeper Alex Meret.

Central defender Marin Pongracic then wasted the Salentini’s best first-half chance on the half hour, firing over from seven yards after a corner on the right.

However, Napoli finished the half strongly and could have led by more than one goal at the interval.

In the final five minutes of the first half, Simeone saw a powerful right-foot shot go just wide, Wladimiro Falcone saved from Zielinski, then Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was narrowly off-target with a free-kick.

Osimhen replaced Simeone for the second half, and within six minutes of his introduction he had doubled Napoli’s lead with his fifth goal of the season, a header off the post from close range following Kvaratskhelia’s cross.

Gabriel Strefezza had the ball in the visitors’ net in the 57th minute with a close-range header but it was ruled out for handball in the build-up by Krstovic.

With a Champions League match against Real Madrid coming up on Tuesday, Garcia rotated his players, first replacing Lindstrom and Kvaratskhelia with Giacomo Raspadori and Politano.

Raspadori’s low left-foot shot was saved by Falcone in the 67th minute, before Jens-Lys Cajuste came on for Stanislav Lobotka with 14 minutes remaining.

Lecce could not find the breakthrough they needed to set up a tense finish and Napoli made it 3-0 when Gaetano, the last of their five substitutes to be introduced, increased the lead with two minutes remaining.

Less than five minutes after his introduction, the attacking midfielder fired home powerfully from the edge of the penalty box.

There was still time for a fourth goal, Politano sending Falcone the wrong way from the penalty spot after Ylber Ramadani had been penalised for fouling Gaetano.

Lecce manager Roberto D’Aversa will prepare his squad to face the “complete team” when Napoli come to the Stadio Via del Mare.

Napoli eased the pressure on under-fire boss Rudi Garcia with a 4-1 win over Udinese on Wednesday night, which puts the Serie A champions fifth in the table heading into the next round of fixtures.

Speculation over Garcia’s future, though, continues, with the French coach having ducked recent media duties amid reports of unrest within the camp and a bizarre video on TikTok which seemingly mocked striker Victor Osimhen following his penalty miss against Bologna.


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D’Aversa, though, is expecting nothing less than the sternest of tests from the Partenopei in Saturday’s afternoon kick-off.

“If I have to list them all (Napoli’s strengths), we would never end,” the Lecce boss told a press conference.

“They are Italian champions, they have a complete team with capable and quality players – Osimhen attacks from deep and is one of the best in Europe.

“On our part, there must be the will to put in a great performance.”

Lecce sit just a place behind Napoli, level on points, after losing their first Serie A game this season 1-0 at Juventus on Tuesday night.

D’Aversa will be without midfielder Mohamed Kaba through suspension after his late sending off and is set to rotate the squad.

“When there are three games a week you have to look for the player’s performance,” he said.

“In Turin, we didn’t have any turnover. We need to pay more attention to certain situations.

“(Lorenzo) Venuti and (Remi) Oudin are starters for me. It is clear that, where possible, there will be some changes tomorrow.”

Reports in Italy suggest Osimhen will not not pursue legal action against Napoli following the TikTok video.

After they face Lecce, Napoli host Real Madrid in the Champions League next week.

Forward Giovanni Simeone was on the scoresheet against Udinese and feels the squad can reset and push on into the season.

“Let’s start again from this victory,” the Argentinian said, quoted on the club’s official website. “We have worked a lot and collected little so far, but we know our value.

“We are a strong and united group. We are aware that two seasons cannot be repeated the same, but we are also sure that we have the spirit, mentality and quality to continue to be protagonists.”

Victor Osimhen put his social media storm with Napoli to one side to help his club return to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Udinese.

Last season’s Scudetto winners entered this fixture after a three-match winless run in Serie A, which had turned up the heat on new boss Rudi Garcia.

Osimhen’s missed penalty in last weekend’s stalemate at Bologna was followed by a bizarre post on Napoli’s official TikTok account.

It appeared to mock the Nigeria international but, while the forward threatened to take legal action, Osimhen brushed off the scrutiny to end his four-game goal drought with a smart finish in the 39th minute in Naples to fire the hosts up to seventh in the table.

After the spot-kick drama of Sunday, it took Napoli only a quarter of an hour to be awarded another penalty when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was fouled inside the area.

VAR was called and eventually the penalty was awarded, but instead of Osimhen it was Piotr Zielinski who took responsibility and he rolled into the bottom corner after 19 minutes to make it 1-0 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Garcia’s out-of-form side were firmly in the ascendancy now with Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen and Mario Rui forcing saves from Marco Silvestri in the Udinese goal.


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Silvestri had no answer to Osimhen in the 39th minute when Matteo Politano slipped through last season’s leading marksman and Napoli’s number nine drilled into the net for his fourth goal this season.

Osimhen was initially reluctant to celebrate but after some anxious glances towards the assistant referee, no offside flag was raised and he embraced his team-mates while feeling the support of a raucous home crowd.

Further applause followed in the 63rd minute when Osimhen was replaced by Giovanni Simeone, who would find the net but not before Kvaratskhelia.

Georgian attacker Kvaratskhelia had endured a difficult start to the season and would have been grateful for the gift from away defender Jaka Bijol.

A poor touch by Bijol allowed Kvaratskhelia to steal in and win possession before he beat Silvestri to the loose ball and was able to open his account for the season from close range in the 74th minute.

Lazar Samardzic reduced the deficit in the 80th minute but, seconds later, Kvaratskhelia turned provider again when his excellent run and cross found Simeone, who headed low into the net to wrap up the scoring on a much-needed positive night for the champions.

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen is reserving “the right to take legal action” against his own club after his team posted a bizarre video to TikTok seemingly mocking the player.

The odd video comes after Osimhen helped the Italian team secure a first league title, the club’s first in three decades.

Despite Osimhen singlehandedly bolstering Napoli with 31 goals across all competitions, he became the target of a strange, now-deleted video, shared to the Serie A club’s official TikTok account.

Osimhen’s agent Roberto Calenda issued a statement on Tuesday night about the incident.

He wrote on Twitter: “What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.

“A serious fact that causes very serious damage to the player and adds to the treatment that the boy is suffering in the last period between media trials and fake news.”

Calenda added: “We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor”.

The video featured a clip of the striker’s penalty miss from their match against Bologna on Sunday, with an odd, sped-up voice dubbed over the top.

The strange social media clip comes after there appeared to be tension between Osimhen and Napoli manager Rudi Garcia during the game.

The 24-year-old Nigerian striker was seen berating Garcia as he was substituted off with four minutes remaining of the goalless draw.

The bizarre social media scrap comes after Osimhen, who captured the interest of Manchester United this summer, did not sign a new contract with the Italian team.

Osimhen’s current deal runs through to the summer of 2025.

Napoli boss Rudi Garcia did not carry out his pre-match press conference duties on Tuesday as the pressure continued to grow on his position following another fractious weekend in Serie A.

The Partenopei welcome Udinese to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona with criticism mounting over their faltering start to the defence of the title they won last season and frustration within the camp threatening to boil over.

They are without a win in three league games after Sunday’s goalless draw at Bologna, where striker Victor Osimhen made no secret of his displeasure at Garcia’s decision to substitute him late on after seeing him miss a penalty.

After the match, Garcia told reporters: “Even the greatest players in the history of football miss penalties. As for when he went off, we talked about that, what I say to my players remains in the locker room.”

Reports from Italy – where it has been claimed Garcia has four matches in which to save his job – have suggested Osimhen has since apologised to the manager in front of his team-mates, but with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia having been similarly unimpressed with his withdrawal during the 2-2 draw at Genoa eight days earlier, the optics are far from good.

The champions are already seven points adrift of leaders Inter Milan – who have a 100 per cent record – after five games, although Udinese boss Andrea Sottil had dismissed talk of a crisis.

Sottil told a press conference: “The newspapers say that Napoli are in crisis, but I absolutely don’t think so.

“It’s not my priority to understand if their locker room is working, I’m interested in creating a strategy for the match by working on my players.”

Napoli will have high hopes of a return to winning ways against a side who have drawn three, but won none of their league fixtures to date and currently lie inside the bottom three.

However under-pressure Garcia, who replaced Scudetto-winning boss Luciano Spalletti this summer, will be without defender Juan Jesus, who has been ruled out for several weeks with a grade-one hamstring injury.

Victor Osimhen missed a penalty as Napoli drew 0-0 at Bologna to continue the early stutters in their Serie A title defence under new boss Rudi Garcia.

Osimhen, who earlier had a shot touched on to the post by Lukasz Skorupski, hit his spot-kick wide in the 72nd minute as the champions failed to win for a third successive league match.

The result, which follows a 2-1 loss to Lazio and 2-2 draw at Genoa, leaves Napoli seventh in the table, seven points behind leaders Inter Milan.

The opening stages of the clash at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara saw Osimhen hit a fifth-minute effort that came back off the far post via Skorupski’s glove, then head wide five minutes later.

Further Napoli efforts came with Piotr Zielinski shooting off-target and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s low drive being held by Skorupski, before Giacomo Raspadori bent an attempt just over the bar in first-half stoppage time.

After Osimhen was denied by Skorupski again in the 63rd minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty when Kvaratskhelia’s cross came off Osimhen and the ball struck Bologna substitute Riccardo Calafiori.

The verdict was handball and Osimhen stepped up, but while Skorupski went the wrong way, the Nigeria international could not get his effort from 12 yards on target.

A rare attack from Bologna then saw Joshua Zirkzee’s firm strike bring a save out of Alex Meret in the 75th minute.

Bologna appealed for a penalty of their own in added time when Alexis Saelemaekers fired the ball at Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, but it was not given.

Napoli – who won 2-1 at Braga in the Champions League last week – will attempt to get back to winning ways in the league when they host Udinese on Wednesday.

Rudi Garcia has attempted to brush off any criticism of Napoli’s slow start to their Serie A title defence.

The champions opened their campaign with two victories but were then poor in a home defeat by Lazio before struggling to force a draw at promoted Genoa, with the sequence of results leaving them sixth in the fledgling table.

A 2-1 midweek Champions League triumph at Braga has done little to sway the detractors of Garcia’s system – which is traditionally attack-focused but has so far failed to excite fans at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona who watched a team led by Luciano Spalletti swashbuckle their way to success in 2022-23.

Garcia told a press conference before Sunday’s trip to Bologna: “We are an attacking team – we have always scored goals and we could have scored more, for example against Braga. Sometimes you need things to go a few millimetres the other way.

“We’ve conceded five goals in the league, which is too many, but we’ve only conceded eight shots, which means we are not out of position or conceding too many, but we certainly need to be more effective.”

On the Lazio loss, the Frenchman added: “If we’d played better in the second half we would have taken some points so now we have to make up for the points lost when we’re away from home, in Bologna, where we are going to win.

“They’re a good team. I admired Thiago Motta as a player and I’m happy he’s also doing well as a coach. We are 100 per cent focused on tomorrow’s match.”

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was the star turn of the Partenopei surge to Scudetto glory last term, with his 12 goals and 13 assists helping to fire Napoli to their first title since 1990.

However he has failed to score at all since March 19 and Garcia has so far struggled to find a position in which the 22-year-old Georgia international can recapture that scintillating form.

He lasted barely an hour at Braga and Bologna will hope his sense of frustration is not too strong when he arrives at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

The Rossoblu have also put together an eclectic set of results so far this season, following up their first win – against Cagliari – with a low-key draw against Hellas Verona on Monday night.

Boss Motta will not let his players become overwhelmed by the prospect of facing the reigning champions in their next match, telling La Gazzetto dello Sport: “We continue to work hard.

“We think about the next training session and game with the aim of always improving.

“We know we are facing the champions next. I watching them play well in the Champions League, they had many scoring opportunities, they won and gained confidence from that.

“We have to focus on what we have to do and what we should avoid doing.

“Their wingers are good and they have excellent players through the middle, too.”

Napoli head coach Rudi Garcia knows his side cannot afford a slow start if they are to target Champions League success this season.

The Partenopei topped their Champions League group ahead of Liverpool and progressed to the quarter-finals last season, where they were beaten by AC Milan.

Garcia’s side, though, head into their opening European tie away to Portuguese outfit Braga on Wednesday night sitting fifth in the table after a draw at newly promoted Genoa left them with seven points from four games.

“There is something wrong in the league (Serie A) because we are only fifth, but it is the start of the season,” Garcia told a press conference.

“The logical thing would be to say that we need to be more consistent, but we can say that the championship is the championship – and the Champions League is another competition.

“There are only six matches in the group (stage) and so every match counts much more than those of the 38-round championship (Serie A).

“We are here to win and we arrive with determination and confidence.”

Napoli arrived in Portugal much later than planned on Tuesday evening following a significantly delayed departure because of technical problems with their aircraft.

But Garcia will not look for any excuses if his side do not produce the required performance at the Estadio Municipal.

“Braga have quality players, but we want to start this Champions League group off well,” he said.

“We have to be consistent from the first minute and have to put everything on the pitch to win the three points.”

Centre-back Amir Rrahmani has been included in Napoli’s travelling squad after missing Saturday’s Serie A game with a muscle problem picked up while on international duty with Kosovo.

Uruguay defender Mathias Olivera is expected to start after coming off the bench against Genoa while recent signing Bernardo Natan could make his debut, with the Brazilian, fit again following a knee issue, an unused substitute at the weekend.

Braga have returned to the Champions League group stages for the first time in 11 years after coming through two qualifying rounds – and will also face Spanish giants Real Madrid as well as tournament debutants Union Berlin in Group C.

After suffering a 3-1 loss at Farense in the Portuguese Liga, Braga coach Artur Jorge is expecting a response against the Italian champions.

“Our opponent has a lot of individual and collective quality. The widespread opinion is that it will be more difficult for Braga, but we have the will to counter that,” he said.

“We have three very strong teams (in the group) and we will be put to the test with maximum demands.

“But even against a very strong Napoli, but we will have a rigorous and committed approach and I believe we have a chance to compete until the end.”

Jorge told a press conference: “We want to enjoy the match, but highlighting that we are not going to play just for the sake of playing.

“Regardless of the competition, the ambition to win is fundamental – we cannot get tired of winning.

“It should not be as a response to anything, this is the ambition that the players have to express – it is our desire for the mission to be accomplished.”

Napoli manager Rudi Garcia has backed Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to return to form ahead of a busy period for the club.

Georgian winger Kvaratskhelia scored 14 goals last season to help the Serie A title return to Naples, but a calf injury has restricted his involvement during the new campaign.

Kvaratskhelia played twice for Georgia during the international break and Garcia knows he can count on the attacker when Napoli travel to Genoa on Saturday night for the start of a sequence of seven matches in 23 days.

“Kvara has played 180 minutes (for Georgia). He struggled a bit in the first match and was a bit better in the second, but I am not worried for him,” Garcia told a press conference.

“He was a bit unlucky in the second half against Lazio. He will score and assist again. He could not play for 90 minutes against Lazio, but two full games with Georgia are good news for us.

“We have seven games in 23 days. It will be like a marathon and we must start well having all the group available.”

Last season’s Scudetto winners suffered their first loss of the campaign before the international break when Lazio won 2-1 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on September 2.

Garcia admitted he will be forced to make changes to his starting line-up for that match and goalscorer Matteo Politano could be on the bench.

Politano trained separately this week with a knock but could still be included on the bench for the trip north.

Garcia added: “Many players were tired yesterday and some are not 100 per cent fit, but I am happy that there are no injuries.

“Matteo Politano should be with us, even if he can’t play for 90 minutes.

“Kvaratskhelia has only started one Serie A game so far this season but is getting back in shape.

“Those who deserve it will play but the starting line-up won’t be the same as against Lazio.

“We must be more efficient up front. It would be important to keep a clean sheet, like against Sassuolo.

“We must be confident because we have a tidy playing style, which must bring us to scoring more goals.”

Napoli winger Matteo Politano is recovering from a calf strain sustained while on international duty, his club have confirmed.

Politano has undergone tests back at Napoli after being sent home from Italy’s Euro qualifying squad. He was withdrawn at half-time during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with North Macedonia in Skopje.

The Serie A champions have not confirmed whether Politano is expected to be fit for Saturday’s Serie A match at Genoa, while Denmark midfielder Jesper Lindstrom has rejoined Rudi Garcia’s squad.

Lazio forward Daichi Kamada sealed his side’s 2-1 win at Napoli as the defending Serie A champions slipped to their first defeat of the season.

The Japan international struck early in the second half after Napoli captain Piotr Zielinski had cancelled out Luis Alberto’s opener before half-time.

Napoli, who finished last season 16 points clear of runners-up Lazio, spurned a hatful of chances after dominating the first half.

But the visitors were well disciplined at the back and always dangerous on the break as they secured their first win of the season.

Napoli made the better start as winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had two early shots blocked and Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel saved twice from Mathias Olivera and Zielinski.

Victor Osimhen headed a scoring chance wide and Kvaratskhelia was denied by another smart Provedel save before Lazio struck against the run of play after half an hour.

Felipe Anderson’s pass inside the box found Luis Alberto and the Spanish midfielder finished with an impressive back-heel into the far corner.

But Napoli’s response was almost immediate as Provedel was left helpless when Poland winger Zielinski’s drilled shot from outside the penalty was deflected past him two minutes later.

The home side continued to rack up the chances before the break, with Osimhen and Olivera both firing off target.

Provedel produced another fine save early in the second half, beating away Zielinski’s swerving volley before Lazio stunned the home fans at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona with a second goal in the 52nd minute.

Felipe Anderson burst down the right on the counter and his cut-back to the edge of the area was dummied by Luis Alberto, allowing Japan forward Kamada to take one touch before burying a low finish.

Napoli looked to his straight back again and blocked shots from Kvaratskhelia and Stanislav Lobotka sandwiched another long-range effort from Zielinski.

Lazio caught their hosts out twice more on the break and the Napoli faithful breathed huge sighs of relief as two efforts from the visitors were ruled out for offside in the space of four minutes.

Mattia Zaccagni and debutant Matteo Guendouzi both thought they had made it 3-1 before VAR intervention spared Napoli, with the latter’s strike viewed by the referee on the pitchside monitor.

Luis Alberto went close to wrapping it up for Lazio when he curled a shot narrowly wide in the 85th minute.

Napoli applied late pressure, but failed to breach Lazio’s impressive defence and substitute Jesper Lindstrom blazed the ball high and wide when presented a chance in the closing stages.

Napoli have confirmed the signing of Denmark international Jesper Lindstrom on a permanent deal from Eintracht Frankfurt.

The 23-year-old had been linked with several clubs during the summer transfer window, including reported interest from Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Lindstrom joined Frankfurt from Brondby in 2021 and went on to help the German club win the Europa League the following season with a penalty shoot-out victory over Scottish side Rangers.

The Denmark midfielder, who played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is said to have agreed a five-year deal with Napoli.

A brief statement from the Serie A side read: “Napoli is delighted to announce the signing of Jesper Lindstrom from Eintracht Frankfurt on a permanent transfer.”

Commenting on Lindstrom’s departure, Eintracht Frankfurt board member Markus Krosche said on the club’s website: “Over the last two years Jesper has played a big part in our positive development.

“Jesper’s time in Frankfurt was also notable for his impressive individual development, which is a good example of how we as a club are able to take highly talented players to the next level.

“We wish him all the best for his future in Naples.”

Victor Osimhen reached another milestone as Napoli concluded their Scudetto-winning campaign with a 2-0 victory over Serie A's bottom side Sampdoria.

Osimhen sealed the Capocannoniere with his second-half penalty taking his tally for the Serie A campaign to 26 goals, while it was also his 50th overall in the competition.

Substitute Giovanni Simeone's wonderful individual effort secured victory as the Partonopei lifted the Serie A trophy at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, where Luciano Spalletti was overseeing his final match in charge before taking a year-long sabbatical.

The Partenopei finished their memorable season on 90 points, their second-highest tally in Serie A – having collected one more under Maurizio Sarri five years ago.

Napoli created the first opportunity inside three minutes when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia fed Piotr Zielinski, who fired over from a tight angle.

At the other end, two former Partenopei players almost combined to thwart their old club, but Fabio Quagliarella squandered a great opportunity by heading Manolo Gabbiadini's inviting cross wide from inside the six yard box.

Koray Gunter produced a wonderful last-ditch intervention to deny Eljif Elmas a clear sight on goal after Osimhen had neatly cushioned a lofted ball into his team-mate's path.

Sampdoria went close after the break when substitute Lorenzo Malagrida shot straight at Alex Meret, but the hosts broke through in the 64th minute.

After Nicola Murru brought him down in the penalty area, Osimhen picked himself up and confidently swept the spot-kick into the bottom-right corner.

Martin Turk denied Frank Anguissa and Gianluca Gaetano with smart reflex saves, but was helpless when Simeone arrowed a stunning 25-yard effort into the top corner to seal the points five minutes from time.

Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti is set to leave the club after guiding them to their first Serie A title in 33 years.

President Aurelio De Laurentiis said that the 64-year-old, who took over the Partenopei in 2021, has asked to take a sabbatical and will leave the club with a year left on his contract.

“He’s a free man, now it’s right that he continues to do what he wants. I thank him,” De Laurentiis told Italian broadcaster Rai as reported by Sky Italy.

Napoli clinched their first title since 1990, when Diego Maradona led them to the Scudetto, with five games to spare.

Spalletti’s final game in charge is set to be at home to Sampdoria next Sunday.

Reports in Italy suggest Napoli will attempt to bring in former Barcelona and Spain head coach Luis Enrique to replace Spalletti.

A number of their star players such as top scorer Victor Osimhen and centre-back Kim Min-jae have been linked with moves away from Naples this summer, with a host of Premier League clubs among those reportedly interested.

Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti is set to leave the club after guiding them to their first Serie A title in 33 years.

President Aurelio De Laurentiis said that the 64-year-old, who took over the Partenopei in 2021, has asked to take a sabbatical and will leave the club with a year left on his contract.

“He’s a free man, now it’s right that he continues to do what he wants. I thank him,” De Laurentiis told Italian broadcaster Rai as reported by Sky Italy.

Napoli clinched their first title since 1990, when Diego Maradona led them to the Scudetto, with five games to spare.

Spalletti’s final game in charge is set to be at home to Sampdoria next Sunday.

Reports in Italy suggest Napoli will attempt to bring in former Barcelona and Spain head coach Luis Enrique to replace Spalletti.

A number of their star players such as top scorer Victor Osimhen and centre-back Kim Min-jae have been linked with moves away from Naples this summer, with a host of Premier League clubs among those reportedly interested.

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