Osimhen ineffective as Empoli hand Napoli 10th defeat of the season

Napoli were beaten 1-0 by Empoli || Image credit: Imago

Osimhen ineffective as Empoli hand Napoli 10th defeat of the season

Faruq Ibrahim 19:56 - 20.04.2024

Napoli's European ambition continues to dim as they suffered their 10th defeat of the season at the hands of Empoli.

Serie A defending champions Napoli continue to stutter, as they were beaten 1-0 by Empoli.

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Francesco Calzona's men conceded early in their trip to Carlo Castellani in the fourth minute and unsuccessfully pushed for an equaliser from that moment until the end of the game. Osimhen was kept at bay by the Empoli backline, as they limited him to only one shot on target.

How it happened

In a gripping Serie A showdown, Alberto Cerri ignited the clash with a blazing start for the relegation-threatened hosts, smashing the net just four minutes into the game. 

Rising high to connect with Emmanuel Gyasi's pinpoint delivery, Cerri left Napoli's defence reeling and extended their agonizing wait for a clean sheet to a daunting 12 matches.

However, Cerri's euphoria was short-lived as he was forced to exit the pitch in the 20th minute, plagued by an injury setback, casting a shadow over Empoli's early dominance.

Stepping into the fray, M'Baye Niang injected fresh energy into Empoli's attack, orchestrating their next promising opportunity with precision. Teaming up with Nicolò Cambiaghi, Niang set the stage for a thunderous strike that agonizingly rattled against the upright, leaving Napoli's goal spared for the moment.

Undeterred by Empoli's halftime lead – a rarity in their Serie A home games this season – Napoli rallied after the break, with the home crowd roaring them on. Despite Empoli's stubborn resistance in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, Napoli intensified their assault, epitomized by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's blistering strike that narrowly missed the mark.

Yet, for all their second-half fervour, Napoli's valiant efforts were in vain as Empoli's resolute defence held firm, thwarting every attacking onslaught to secure a long-awaited shutout. With Napoli falling 1-0 to Empoli for the second time this season, their aspirations dimmed, languishing in eighth place after managing just one win in their last seven outings across all competitions.