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Osimhen opens 2023 account as Napoli defeat 10-man Sampdoria

Super Eagles striker becomes first player to reach 10 Serie A goals

Victor Osimhen scored his first goal of 2023 as Napoli edged Sampdoria 2-0 to extend their lead atop the Serie A standings. The Nigerian striker opened the scoring for his side in their win as they opened up a seven-point gap over second-place Juventus.

After losing their unbeaten start to the season against Inter Milan, Napoli needed to prove that the result was only a blip in their title charge. The Partenopei had Sampdoria as their opponents at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Napoli showed their quality early in the game and were awarded a penalty after only five minutes after Nicola Murru was found guilty of an offence in the Sampdoria box. Italian winger Matteo Politano stepped up to take the penalty but was unable to convert from 12 yards out.

Not a side to be kept at bay for long, Napoli found their opener through their top goalscorer. A flat cross from Mario Rui saw Osimhen steal a march on his marker to fire home a first-time effort at the near post after 19 minutes. It was the Nigerian striker’s 10th Serie A goal in only 13 appearances this season. Osimhen is also the first player in Serie A this season to reach double figures for goals.

Osimhen showed why he’s regarded by many as the best striker in Italy in the 38th minute. The Napoli striker chased down a long ball over the top before shrugging off one defender, leaving him on the deck. He then zoomed past Tomas Rincone and was on his way to goal before the Sampdoria man scythed him down at the edge of the box, taking a red card for his troubles.

With the game coming to its end, Napoli received a second penalty. This time, Macedonian midfielder Eljif Elmas stepped up to score the penalty in the 82nd minute to make sure the three points returned to Naples on the night.

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