Napoli secured a fourth straight Serie A (SA) victory with a 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Venezia – ending a 75-year drought to secure their first win in Venice since 1947.
Following Atalanta’s plunder earlier in the day, Napoli knew that whatever happened, victory would see them extend their cushion to fifth place and close the gap on top spot to just one point. Unsurprisingly, it was Napoli in the ascendancy, but their end product was distinctly missing, although Matteo Politano thought he had found the breakthrough midway through the first half, but his fierce volley whistled over the bar. Venezia are embroiled in a relegation battle though, and desperate for points themselves. David Okereke took the fight to Napoli, and it took a strong hand from David Ospina to deny the Nigerian from opening the scoring before HT.
It wasn’t too long after the break before the deadlock was broken though, and true to the run of play, it was Napoli who found a breakthrough. Politano delivered a teasing cross into the ‘corridor of uncertainty’ and Victor Osimhen was on hand to loop a header back across goal and into the far corner. Only Salernitana have scored less than Venezia’s 20 SA goals this season, so the prospects of the SA newcomers finding a route back into the game appeared slim.
So it proved for Venezia, who lost Tyronne Ebuehi to a second yellow card and couldn’t find a way to breach SA’s most stringent defence, meaning after today’s results they have dropped into the bottom three – albeit with a game in hand. Inter’s defeat in the Milan derby swung the door to the title gently ajar for Napoli, and they now have their foot firmly in it after victory, which Andrea Petagna wrapped up in stoppage time. Next up for Napoli? Inter at home…