Holders Napoli rain goals on Sassuolo in key road victory

Reigning champs did not let down after falling behind early, stars stepped up to earn well-deserved victory
Victor Osimhen reached double figures in goals for a fourth season in a row.
Victor Osimhen reached double figures in goals for a fourth season in a row. / Timothy Rogers/GettyImages

The Sassuolo-Napoli match saw two struggling teams square off against each other. The hosts were in 18th place while the defending champs were a disappointing ninth.

In fact, Sassuolo management had just sacked Alessio Dionisi on Sunday, turning the team over to the club's youth squad director, Emiliano Bigica.

In any case, the first minutes of the game saw only the Azzurri on the pitch and they imposed a fast pace that put the home team in difficulty.

In the 17th minute, completely against the run of play, Sassuolo took advantage of their first push forward, finishing off their rush with a low, precise shot from distance by Uros Racic. It was Racic's first goal of the campaign.

After the deficit, the visitors started to become dangerous again, in particular with an initiative by striker Victor Osimhen but his shot ended up wide of the target.

The insistent attack of Francesco Calzona's men quickly led to the equalizer and shortly afterwards the go-ahead goal. First, in the 29th minute, defender Amir Rrahmani found himself in an advanced position and he knocked in the equalizer off a clever backheel assist from Zambo Anguissa. Just 2 minutes later, Osimhen finished positively from close range, helped by an assist from teammate Matteo Politano, putting Napoli ahead 1-2.

Subsequently, just before the end of the first half, another goal was scored by a rampant Osimhen after a combination started by Politano who served it deep.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Ruan Tressoldi
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was among the best of the match thanks to his ability to dribble past his opponent and create numerical superiority. / Timothy Rogers/GettyImages

The second half resumed just as the first had ended, with the visitors swarming.

In the 47th minute, an error by defender Ruan Tressoldi was not wasted by Georgian playmaker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who served up Osimhen in the center of the penalty area. The goal gave Osimhen a natural hat-trick.

In the 51st minute it was Kvaratskhelia's turn to score and he found the net using his typical play, i.e. starting from his own side of the pitch he ran at his opponent and then headed for the central area where released a curling shot inside the far post.

Napoli stunned by a late Cagliari equalizer. dark. Next. SSC Napoli

Not long thereafter, the Georgian winger completed his contribution with a brace, making the final score 1-6.

The game was a breath of fresh air for Napoli after a few difficult matchdays.