Napoli moved a huge 18 points clear at the top of Serie A on Saturday with yet another routine victory, this time against mid-table Empoli.
It was a fairly mild affair at Stadio Carlo Castellani in Empoli, Italy, at least by Napoli standards. There were two goals, one of them an own goal, and a red card, but considering the fireworks the Partenopei normally bring to the pitch, it was a fairly quiet night in northern Italy.
An own goal from Empoli defender Ardian Ismajli opened the scoring in the 17th minute, with Victor Osimhen making it two shortly before the end of the first half.
Napoli went down to 10 men early in the second half as Mario Rui was sent off in the 67th minute after a VAR review showed an overly aggressive foul on Francesco Caputo, pushing the visitors into a more defensive posture for the last 20 minutes.
Kim Min-jae played the full 90 minutes at center-back, working with the rest of the back line to fill the gap left by Rui’s exit.
Napoli are currently riding an eight game Serie A winning streak, with Osimhen scoring in all eight of those games. The Nigerian Golden Boot front runner is the first player to score in eight straight games, putting him hot on the heels of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 11-game run in the 2019-20 season.
Napoli have also now won five straight games on the road, the third team in the league’s history to reach that milestone after Inter Milan and Juventus.
Yet another comfortable win for Napoli comes as little surprise considering the club’s dominant performance this season. 메이저놀이터
Napoli have lost three games so far this season across all competitions; one in Serie A, one in the Champions League and one in the Coppa Italia.
In the league, Napoli sits 18 points clear in first place as of press time Sunday on 65 points with 21 wins, two draws and one loss. Inter Milan, in second place, have racked up six losses so far and it would take a truly spectacular collapse from Napoli for the Milan club to any threat whatsoever over the rest of the season.
In the Champions League, Napoli lost one group stage game to Liverpool 2-0, but only after they were already unassailably at the top of the group with a massive plus 14 goal difference.
The one blip on the record is the Coppa Italia, where the Partenopei made an unexpected exit after losing on penalties to Cremonese in the round of 16. That loss might have been an uncharacteristic show of hubris from the typically humble Luciano Spalletti, who fielded a far weaker side than normal for the cup tie.
Back in Serie A, some potentially tougher challenges are coming up over the coming weeks. The Partenopei face fifth-place Lazio next week and sixth-place Atalanta the week after.