Napoli will have to wait at least a few more days to seal the Serie A title after drawing 1-1 with regional rival Salernitana on Sunday, much to the dismay of fans of the southern club who already were celebrating holding the shield
Partenopei would have been sentenced to relegation six days earlier – something unprecedented in the Italian first division – if they beat Salernitana.
But Bolaye Dia soured the celebrations at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium when he scored for the visitors six minutes from time.
Napoli was overtaken by Uruguayan Mathias Oliveira. Throughout the afternoon, Neapolitan goal cries were repeatedly drowned out in the safe hands of Salernitana’s veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
With the result, Napoli continues to gallop at the top of the table. Coach Luciano Spalletti’s side took 18 points from their immediate pursuers Lazio, who won 3–1 on their first visit to Inter Milan.
Juventus, third in the table, could later displace Lazio into second place with a win in Bologna.
Napoli are within striking distance of winning the Italian league for the first time since winning only two titles under Maradona in 1987 and 1990.
Oliver scored in the 62nd minute by redirecting the ball towards the far post with a header.
As Napoli thrashed to the tune of the consecration, Senegal’s Dia dribbled past Neapolitan center forward Victor Osimhen from the right wing and declared the tie with a left-footed shot that crossed into the corner.
Napoli visit Udinese in their next game on Thursday, a day after Lazio host Sassuolo and Juventus host Lecce.
Neapolitan tifosi celebrated the game for hours, both inside and outside the stadium – their enthusiasm waned when Lazio lost, which opened the door to a decider for Napoli.
But Salernitana, a team that hasn’t lost for two months, didn’t want that to happen.