Victor Osimhen puts social media storm to one side in Napoli’s win over Udinese
The Nigeria forward ended his four-game goal drought days after seemingly being mocked by Napoli’s official TikTok account.
Victor Osimhen put his social media storm with Napoli to one side to help his club return to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Udinese.
Last season’s Scudetto winners entered this fixture after a three-match winless run in Serie A, which had turned up the heat on new boss Rudi Garcia.
Osimhen’s missed penalty in last weekend’s stalemate at Bologna was followed by a bizarre post on Napoli’s official TikTok account.
It appeared to mock the Nigeria international but, while the forward threatened to take legal action, Osimhen brushed off the scrutiny to end his four-game goal drought with a smart finish in the 39th minute in Naples to fire the hosts up to seventh in the table.
After the spot-kick drama of Sunday, it took Napoli only a quarter of an hour to be awarded another penalty when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was fouled inside the area.
VAR was called and eventually the penalty was awarded, but instead of Osimhen it was Piotr Zielinski who took responsibility and he rolled into the bottom corner after 19 minutes to make it 1-0 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Garcia’s out-of-form side were firmly in the ascendancy now with Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen and Mario Rui forcing saves from Marco Silvestri in the Udinese goal.
Silvestri had no answer to Osimhen in the 39th minute when Matteo Politano slipped through last season’s leading marksman and Napoli’s number nine drilled into the net for his fourth goal this season.
Osimhen was initially reluctant to celebrate but after some anxious glances towards the assistant referee, no offside flag was raised and he embraced his team-mates while feeling the support of a raucous home crowd.
Further applause followed in the 63rd minute when Osimhen was replaced by Giovanni Simeone, who would find the net but not before Kvaratskhelia.
Georgian attacker Kvaratskhelia had endured a difficult start to the season and would have been grateful for the gift from away defender Jaka Bijol.
A poor touch by Bijol allowed Kvaratskhelia to steal in and win possession before he beat Silvestri to the loose ball and was able to open his account for the season from close range in the 74th minute.
Lazar Samardzic reduced the deficit in the 80th minute but, seconds later, Kvaratskhelia turned provider again when his excellent run and cross found Simeone, who headed low into the net to wrap up the scoring on a much-needed positive night for the champions.