Victor Osimhen and the Partenopei have seen their title challenge face another setback after the Napoli vs Fiorentina match ended in defeat for the reigning Serie A champions.
The striker was on the scoresheet which counts as a positive for him but Rudi Garcia's side have dropped into fifth place as a result of the losses which was their second of the season.
It is also Fiorentina's first win over Napoli in the Serie A in sixteen meetings. The duck breaking at the Diego Maradona Stadium will anger the Partenopei who are already unhappy with Rudi Garcia's methods.
Read on for the match report from the Napoli vs Fiorentina game.
Victor Osimhen scores from the spot for Napoli 💥
He really enjoyed that one 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/vP7uWWybvh
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) October 8, 2023
Osimhen penalty not enough to win Napoli vs Fiorentina game at home
Coming into the Napoli vs Fiorentina game, a lot of odds were stacked in Fiorentina's favour. I Viola are the most potent team in the first half of this Season's Serie A games.
They had scored four times in the first 15 minutes of their last seven match days and 11 times overall in the first half of their games. That made up for 78.5 percent of their goals so far in the season. Napoli, on the other hand, had their league unbeaten streak against Fiorentina to keep.
Star striker Victor Osimhen was also ready to increase his goal contributions tally against their visitors, having scored twice and assisted once in five outings against them. The Super Eagles ace did exactly that but it turned out to be a consolation goal as Napoli were fully outclassed by Fiorentina, who picked up their third win in ten games at Napoli's home ground.
Garcia fell right into Italiano’s trap. Flawless game plan executed to perfection by Fiorentina. Nico Gonzalez with an instance of gamesmanship that would have made Maradona proud. Napoli looking a long way off the side that cantered to the Scudetto
— Patrick Kendrick (@patrickendrick) October 8, 2023
Napoli and Fiorentina came into the match level on points and understood that their place in next season's UEFA Champions League was at stake. The hosts started brightly, with captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo firing over from an angle.
Fiorentina continued their fine first half goal scoring run with a goal minutes later – seventh minute to be exact – thanks to forward Josip Brekalo being on hand to turn in the rebound from Lucas Martínez Quarta's shot which hit the post.
Napoli were hard done by the injury to key midfielder André-Frank Zambo Anguissa but Garcia's choice to replace the midfielder with a striker – Giacomo Raspadori – showed his clear intentions.
It helped them as Osimhen was able to get into better goal scoring chances with another striker to take the defenders off him. He won and converted a penalty in additional time of the first half, giving Napoli hope for the second half.
It was not to be for Napoli and Osimhen, who continued to trouble the Fiorentina defence. Pietro Terracciano denied the 24-year-old striker and that proved to be the biggest turning point of the game as it emboldened the visitors.
Giacomo Bonaventura and Nicolás González added Fiorentina's second and third to take all three points home, sending them into fourth place and Napoli down into fifth.
Rudi Garcia has lost his mind. Taking off Osimhen when you're 2-1 down is criminal.
Not surprising, another loss for Napoli this season. Terrible.
Fiorentina have gone join 3rd alongside Juventus in Serie A!
— Matteo Bonetti (@Bonetti) October 8, 2023
Rudi Garcia will be grateful for the international break as he will sit down with his coaching staff and the players who were not called up by their countries to work on strategies for defending their 2022/23 title.
Garcia changes in Napoli vs Fiorentina confuse pundits and fans
Victor Osimhen was taken off in the 77th minute of the Napoli vs Fiorentina game in what many fans have described as “madness” by Rudi Garcia.
The striker was taken off alongside Stanislav Lobotka and Piotr Zielinski, two other pillars of the team. Replacing those three were Jesper Lindstrom, Giovanni Simeone and Gianluca Gaetano.
The changes, which occurred as Napoli were down 2-1 were met with angry stadium chants and at the end of the game, the Frenchman was greatly castigated in the media by pundits and on social media by fans.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago