In a Serie A matchup that was eagerly anticipated by fans and neutrals alike, Victor Osimhen's Napoli travelled to Lecce for their Week 7 encounter at the Via del Mare stadium.
The expectations were high, and Napoli did not disappoint, emerging with a commanding 4-0 victory.
Osimhen's impact off the bench
One of the notable aspects of this match was the role of Osimhen. The Nigerian striker started the game from the bench.
However, he made an immediate impact upon his introduction in the second half.
In the 51st minute, Osimhen displayed his aerial prowess by scoring a header, marking his fifth goal in Serie A this season.
Manager Rudi Garcia's decision to initially leave Osimhen on the bench raised some eyebrows, but he later clarified that it was part of squad rotation strategy.
Garcia stressed the importance of maintaining the physical sharpness of his players, particularly in a challenging away fixture.
Despite his impressive performances on the pitch, Victor Osimhen's future at Napoli has been clouded by off-field issues.
Recently, the striker found himself in an unexpected controversy when he was mocked by Napoli's own TikTok account.
This incident fueled speculation about his commitment to the club and whether he might seek a move elsewhere.
However, Garcia swiftly dismissed these concerns, emphasizing that Osimhen's absence from the starting lineup against Lecce was solely for tactical reasons.
The manager's words were clear: Napoli remained focused on the task at hand and the need to maintain top physical condition for a demanding season.
Napoli's coach told DAZN: “The lads know they must be fully concentrated on this match, because it is already a few days after the last game and it is played under the sun and heat.
“This is no friendly, Lecce have had a great start to the season and we must be at 100 per cent physically and mentally to get a result.
“There has to be squad rotation, it is almost a third of the team that changed since the game with Udinese, so it's natural to look to everyone, including those who come off the bench.”
The game itself was a showcase of Napoli's dominance. In the 16th minute, the scoring opened when Sander Ostigard headed in a precise free-kick delivery from Piotr Zielinski.
This early lead set the tone for Napoli's relentless attacking display.
The highlight of the match was undoubtedly Victor Osimhen's header in the 51st minute, as he capitalized on a superb cross from Kvaratskhelia from the left flank.
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) September 30, 2023
This goal showcased Osimhen's striking prowess and his value to the team.
Napoli continued to press forward, extending their lead to 3-0 when Gianluca Gaetano found the back of the net from the edge of the box after Giacomo Raspadori's assist.
The icing on the cake came in stoppage time when Matteo Politano calmly converted a penalty, sealing Napoli's comprehensive 4-0 victory.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago