Runaway Serie A leader Napoli loses for only second time

Napoli, March 4 (BNA): Serie A leaders Napoli lost for only the second time in the league when they lost 1-0 to Lazio on Friday.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that Matias Vecino’s second-half goal was enough to give the visitors the win that lifted them into second place in Serie A, a point behind the Milan teams.

However, Napoli have a 17-point advantage, but could fall a little further if Milan beat Fiorentina on Saturday or Inter Milan beat Lecce the next day.

Lazio’s first victory at Napoli in nearly eight years came after an intense game at Diego Armando Maradona’s stadium but with few concrete goalscoring opportunities. This was not surprising since the teams conceded the fewest in Serie A.

Lazio came close to taking the lead in the fifth minute when Luis Alberto hit a free kick and Vicino’s header was rebounded by Napoli defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo and lost goalkeeper Alex Merritt.

Napoli stepped up their game in the second half and should have broken the deadlock in the 58th minute when Di Lorenzo’s cross was backheeled by Victor Osimhen but Piotr Zielinski fired powerfully into the right corner.

Lazio took the lead after nine minutes, during Napoli’s best period of the match. Khavisha Kvaratskhelia, the Napoli winger, tried to deflect a cross with his head, but the ball came to Vicino, who hit a powerful ball into the ground and into the lower left corner.

This was the first goal that Napoli had conceded in six matches in all competitions.

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Napoli could have equalized 11 minutes from time but Osimhen – who had scored 11 goals in his previous 10 matches – headed in Kvaratskhelia’s cross from close range. Then, Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Providel parried a header from Kim Min-jae into the rebounds.

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