African All Stars

AS Roma keep Osimhen's celebration of potential record on ice as Napoli stutter in Serie A title race

21:49 SAST 2022/04/18
Victor Osimhen Napoli Udinese Serie A 19032022
The Super Eagle still has five games to equal his personal best achieved during his time at Lille

Victor Osimhen could not equal his personal record having failed to score in Napoli’s 1-1 draw with AS Roma in Monday’s Serie A fixture.

Prior to the game played at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, the Nigeria international was one goal short of matching his record of goals scored in a single European league season.

During the 2019-20 season at Lille, Osimhen found the net on 13 occasions - a feat that inspired his move to the Italian elite division giants. 

However, he could not add to his 12-goal tally in the 2021-22 campaign despite his presence for 82 minutes before he was subbed off for Dries Mertens.

Still hurt by their 3-2 home defeat to Fiorentina, Luciano Spalletti’s team welcomed the Yellow and Reds to Naples for their 150th Derby del Sole.

Although Jose Mourinho’s side started on a positive note, it was the hosts who took the lead after 11 minutes as Roger Ibanez fouled a goal-bound Hirving Lozano.

Referee Marco Di Bello had waved play on, however, he reversed his decision after consulting VAR. Thereafter, Lorenzo Insigne smartly put the ensuing kick beyond goalkeeper Rui Patricio. 

The visitors regrouped and they could have levelled matters five minutes before the half time break, however, Lorenzo Pellegrini’s free-kick deflected off Osimhen to sail over the crossbar. 

Even with their lead, Napoli suffered a minor setback as Stanislav Lobotka was forced off injured. He was subsequently replaced by Piotr Zielinski.

Ten minutes before full time, Osimhen was close to scoring his side’s second goal but he could only hit the side netting. Following his replacement two minutes later - a decision that encouraged Roma to attack in numbers and that paid off.

With the Parteneopeans looking destined to end the game as winners, super-sub Stephan El Shaarawy broke their hearts with a last-gasp equaliser with Tammy Abraham providing the assist.

Cameroon international Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Senegal's Kalidou Koulibaly were in action from start to finish, whereas Algeria's duo of Faouzi Ghoulam and Adam Ounas, as well as DR Congo prospect Axel Tuanzebe, were unused substitutes.

This result is a massive setback for Napoli who are bidding to emerge as league champions. Currently, they occupy the third spot having accrued 67 points from 33 outings so far.

Osimhen could match his individual mark should he find the net when his side takes on Empoli on April 24 at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.