Bologna 2-2 Napoli: Partenopei throw away two-goal lead amid Spalletti exit talk
Napoli appeared to be cruising before Bologna stunned them in the closing stages to snatch an unlikely point on Sunday.FotMob - 4 months ago
Napoli squandered a two-goal lead as Lorenzo De Silvestri snatched a 2-2 draw for Bologna against the Serie A champions, who appear set to lose Scudetto-winning coach Luciano Spalletti.
Spalletti said a decision has been made on his Napoli future before kick-off, with many expecting the Partenopei boss to depart, yet his side initially appeared far from distracted at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.
Victor Osimhen seized on an early Lukasz Skorupski mistake to open the scoring before doubling his – and Napoli's – tally after 54 minutes with a powerful finish across goal.
However, Lewis Ferguson halved the arrears just past the hour before De Silvestri headed home with six minutes remaining, and only the offside flag denied Nicola Sansone a late winner as Napoli were forced to cling on.
A terrible pass from Bologna goalkeeper Skorupski gifted Napoli their 14th-minute opener as Osimhen intercepted on the edge of the area and finished into an empty net.
Skorupski somewhat made amends by thwarting both Osimhen and Alessio Zerbin as Napoli threatened to extend their lead before the break.
Marko Arnautovic skimmed a rare Bologna chance across the face of an empty goal after the interval before Osimhen furthered Napoli's advantage.
The Napoli striker rolled onto Bartosz Bereszynski's delicate throughball before firing through the legs of Skorupski.
An unmarked Ferguson pulled one back shortly thereafter, tapping in a rebound after Pierluigi Gollini saved from Sansone, who subsequently assisted De Silvestri's headed equaliser with a delightful corner.
Sansone then thought he had snatched a late victory with a one-on-one finish, only to be denied by a belated offside flag.
What does it mean? Champions' hangover continues
Napoli slightly stuttered after securing the title at Udinese, unconvincingly defeating Fiorentina and losing to Monza before easing past a weakened Inter last time out.
The Serie A champions were once again victims of their own laidback approach, seemingly happy to sit on their two-goal lead with little to play for before Bologna responded in the closing stages.
With Spalletti likely on his way out and Napoli stars Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia drawing transfer attention, the Partenopei will be disappointed to end a memorable season in this fashion.
Osimhen in a class of his own
Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all said to be contending for the Nigeria striker's signature when the transfer window opens ahead of next season.
Osimhen continues to enjoy a remarkable campaign, leading the Serie A charts with 25 goals – one more than in his last two league seasons combined (10 in 2020-21 and 14 in 2021-22).
Facing the champions with little to play for, Bologna were always going to be challenged with an uphill task against a squad boasting world-class talent.
Yet Skorupski handed Napoli the early incentive on a plate, his costly mistake seeing the goalkeeper pass from his own byline straight to Osimhen – although Bologna's late goal bailed him out.
Key Opta facts:
- Osimhen is one of just four players to score at least 25 goals in a single Serie A campaign for Napoli, alongside Edinson Cavani (26 in 2010-11 and 29 in 2012-13), Gonzalo Higuain (36 in 2015-16) and Dries Mertens (28 in 2016-17).
- Bologna have drawn four home Serie A matches in a row for the first time since doing so in 1989, under the management of Luigi Maifredi.
- Bologna (51) have picked up more than 50 points in a single Serie A campaign for the first time since 2011-12 (when they finished ninth with 51).
- Osimhen has scored multiple goals in four separate league games in 2023, a tally only bettered by Kylian Mbappe (five) in Europe's top five leagues.
- Ferguson has scored six goals in Serie A this season. Only one Scottish player has netted more often in a single Italian top-flight campaign, Denis Law scoring 10 for Torino in 1961-62.
Napoli wrap up their title-winning campaign at home to already relegated Sampdoria next Sunday, when Bologna visit Lecce.