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Osimhen and Napoli won't let 'hurtful defeat' against Fiorentina dash Serie A hopes

12:05 AM GMT+8 12/04/2022
Napoli and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen.
The striker scored and assisted but that was not enough to help his team from falling for the fifth time at home in the league this season

Nigeria international Victor Osimhen insists Napoli will "keep believing" despite the latest setback in their quest to win the Scudetto.

On Sunday, Partenopei fell 3-2 to Fiorentina in the Serie A outing staged at the Diego Armando Stadium. The loss was a massive blow to the team considering leaders AC Milan collected a point in a goalless draw with Torino while the defending champions Inter Milan collected a 2-0 win over Verona.

In the match against Fiorentina, Osimhen scored and assisted Dries Mertens, but the visitors collected maximum points after replying through Nicolas Gonzalez, Jonathan Ikone and Cabral Arthur.

The defeat left the Parthenopeans third with 66 points, two points behind leaders AC Milan and level with second-placed Inter Milan, who have a superior goal difference.

Osimhen has now taken to his social media account to express his dismay after the loss.

"Hurtful defeat, but won’t let our hope be dashed; we keep believing (sic)," the 23-year-old Super Eagles striker said.

Meanwhile, Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has stated Osimhen was not in great shape despite finding the back and assisting in the aforementioned game.

"Fiorentina play man against man, Milenkovic pushes far up to chase his man and leaves these spaces we could’ve made more of. If you don’t have the quality to dribble your way out of trouble, then you end up with long balls,” Spalletti told DAZN as quoted by Football Italia.

"Osimhen wasn’t in the best shape today, as he skipped a couple of training sessions. He did well, but could’ve done better in these physical duels with Igor."

The 63-year-old Italian manager has further described Napoli’s result as a "costly defeat."

"This is a very costly defeat and in certain ways was undeserved. Fiorentina played their game and earned the win, but we started strong, then tried to play too long and allowed them to take control of midfield," he added.

"When we conceded the second goal, it all became far more difficult. We have to take some of the blame for what happened, but it’s so disappointing because the fans, the attitude of the whole team throughout the week was the right one."

On losing five league matches at home, Spalletti said: "They are all to be taken individually, I don’t see any recurring problem we can work on or blame."