Napoli clinch 1st Serie A title since Maradona era

Sports Desk, May 4 (EFE).- Napoli drew 1-1 away to Udinese on Thursday to assure themselves of winning Serie A for the first time since 1990, when Diego Maradona led Gli Azzurri to their second title in three years.

With 80 points, Napoli lead second-place Lazio by 16 points with five matches left in the season.

More than 15,000 Napoli supporters traveled to Udine for Thursday’s match and fans of the visiting side occupied nearly half the 25,144 seats in Dacia Arena, while thousands more gathered outside the stadium.

Back in Naples, upwards of 50,000 people filled Stadio Diego Armando Maradona – renamed in honor of the Argentine great following his death in 2020 – to watch the game on giant screens.

Napoli dominated the league throughout the season and led by 18 points after 24 games. They were poised to nail down the title last Sunday at home to Salernitana, but gave up an equalizer with six minutes left in regulation.

Udinese, currently 12th in the table, went ahead in the 13th minute on a goal by Sandi Lovric and the Slovenian would have doubled the lead in the 31st if not for a good save by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret.

The closest the visitors came in the first half was a Victor Osimhen header that went wide.

But Serie A’s top scorer made no mistake seven minutes into the second half, knocking in the rebound after Marco Silvestri stopped a shot from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

The Nigerian striker’s 22nd league goal of the season sent the crowd at Stadio Maradona into a frenzy and proved to be enough to secure the title for Napoli.

EFE tf/dr

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