…as champions drop more points in title race
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen missed a penalty on Sunday as Napoli drew 0-0 to Bologna to continue a three-game winless streak in their Serie A title defence under new boss Rudi Garcia.
Before missing the crucial penalty in the 72nd minute, Osimhen had already been in the thick of the action for Napoli. Earlier in the game, his shot in the fifth minute hit the far post after a touch from Lukasz Skorupski’s glove, and he also headed wide just five minutes later.
Napoli’s disappointing result against Bologna adds to their recent struggles in Serie A. This draw, coming on the back of a 2-1 loss to Lazio and a 2-2 draw with Genoa, means Napoli now sits in seventh place in the league table, trailing league leaders Inter Milan by seven points.
Napoli continued their offensive efforts with attempts from Piotr Zielinski, whose shot missed the target, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, whose low drive was held by Skorupski. Just before halftime, Giacomo Raspadori came close, narrowly missing the target with a bending effort.
In the 63rd minute, Osimhen once again found himself denied by Skorupski. However, Napoli was awarded a penalty when Kvaratskhelia’s cross unintentionally hit Osimhen, and the ball struck Bologna substitute Riccardo Calafiori. The decision was a handball, leading to Osimhen taking the penalty. Despite Skorupski guessing the wrong direction, the Nigerian striker couldn’t keep his shot on target from the 12-yard spot.
Bologna launched an uncommon offensive move, with Joshua Zirkzee delivering a powerful shot in the 75th minute that forced Alex Meret into making a save.
In added time, Bologna made a penalty appeal of their own as Alexis Saelemaekers fired the ball towards Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, but the referee did not award the penalty.
Napoli, coming off a 2-1 victory against Braga in the Champions League last week, will look to return to the win column in Serie A when they face Udinese at home on Wednesday.