Napoli’s Scudetto hopes suffered a huge blow after a 3-2 home defeat to in-form Fiorentina despite a stunning late strike from Victor Osimhen.
Luciano Spaletti’s side made a bright start with the returning Osimhen heading wide with the goal at his mercy and also having an effort disallowed for offside.
La Viola slowly grew in confidence and took the lead when a headed clearance fell to Nicolás González who hammered the ball in off the post for his fourth goal of the season.
The visitors continued to waste opportunities with Mario Rui blazing the ball over from close range.
Splaetti brought on striker Hirzing Lozano and Dries Mertens in the second half for some more attacking firepower.
It was more of the same from Napoli with their final ball letting them down until Mertens equalised with his first touch with a pinpoint low strike into the bottom corner for his first goal since January.
The hosts then made a couple of changes and it was sub Jonathan Ikone who also netted with his first touch, lashing the ball into the bottom corner a minute after coming on.
And Fiorentina went further ahead through Brazilian Arthur Cabral’s solo effort.
The visitors reduced their deficit through a spectacular half volley from Nigeria forward Osimhen in the closing stages but Fiorentina held on to climb to seventh while Napoli remain third and a point behind Serie A leaders AC Milan, who play later today against Torino.
What went wrong for Napoli?
Spaletti’s substitutions worked but his defence let him down. They are not a side renowned for keeping clean sheets but the goals by Gonzalez and Ikone were down to a lack of man marking in the box. They now face a tricky game with Jose Mourinho’s Roma on Easter Monday hoping their title rivals AC Milan and Inter slip up at some point
MAN OF THE MATCH
Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina): The Argentine has had a tough spell since joining Fiorentina but is growing in confidence now after back to back goals. He broke the deadlock with a brilliantly taken finish and was a threat throughout.
FIORENTINA: Terracciano 6, Venuti 6, Milenkovic 6, Igor 8, Biraghi 6, Castrovilli 6, Amrabat 5, Duncan 6, Gonzalez 8, Cabral 8, Saponara 5..Subs: Ikone 7, Maleh 5, Callejon n/a, Quarta n/a, Kokorin n/a.
NAPOLI: Ospina 5, Zanoli 6, Rrahmani 6, Koulibaly 5, Mario Rui 5, Fabian Ruiz 4, Lobotka 4, Zielinski 5, Politano 5, Osimhen 6, Insigne 5…Subs: Lozano 7, Mertens 7, Demme n/a, Elmas n/a, Ghoulam n/a.
14′ – DISALLOWED GOAL! Zielinski’s low cross is put in by Osimhen from around a yard out but he is offisde. VAR is having another look.
29′ – GOAL FOR FIORENTINA! Gonzalez chests it down inside the box and hammers it into the top corner. What a hit!
58′ – GOAL FOR NAPOLI! Napoli break, Osimhen cuts it back for Mertens whose low shot arrows into the bottom corner.
66′ – GOAL FOR FIORENTINA! Ikone with his first touch, lashes the ball into the bottom corner from a tightish angle.
69′ – DISALLOWED GOAL FOR NAPOLI! Lozano rounds the keeper and slots it in but he is clearly offside.
72′ – GOAL FOR FIORENTINA! Cabral takes his shirt off after a fantastic goal. He took advantage of Lobotka’s slip to breeze past him and tuck the ball into the bottom corner.
84 – GOAL FOR NAPOLI! Osimhen with an emphatic finish with a half volley after brushing off Igor.