Osimhen ends season with 15 goals as Napoli finish 10th with draw against Leece

Osimhen ends season with 15 goals as Napoli finish 10th with draw against Leece

Faruq Ibrahim 19:22 - 26.05.2024

Napoli ended a disappointing season with a draw against Lecce.

Napoli's Serie A campaign came to an end today, and star striker Victor Osimhen could only manage a substitute appearance. The Partenopei could only manage a 10th-place finish after drawing Lecce, meaning they will not be playing in any European competition next season, after Atalanta finished fourth.

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The 0-0 draw against Lecce meant Napoli only managed one win in their last 10 games, as they concluded a disappointing campaign that pales in comparison with their historic 2022/23 season.

Consequently, and in part due to injury, Osimhen's numbers also failed to live up to the lofty world-class standards he set last season. The Nigerian only managed 15 league goals, 11 less than the 26 he scored to win the capocannoniere in the previous campaign.

How it happened

Napoli entered the game with a chance to salvage their season, and at least make the Conference League. To qualify, they needed to win, for Torino drop in points, and Fiorentina to win. They showed early intent with Mathias Olivera heading off-target but were dealt a scare soon after as Patrick Dorgu’s strike clipped the outside of the post.

Despite maintaining control, Napoli struggled to test Wladimiro Falcone as Matteo Politano and Giovanni Simeone both missed the target. Encouragement came when news broke that Torino had fallen behind against Atalanta, but Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa couldn’t capitalise, failing to direct his header on goal.

The first half's intensity waned, with Luca Gotti’s side effectively neutralising Napoli’s efforts. However, the visitors almost broke the deadlock, as Medon Berisha’s shot was deflected wide by Leo Skiri Ostigard after a swift counterattack.

At halftime, Francesco Calzona introduced Cyril Ngonge, who quickly forced Falcone into a save within four minutes of the restart. The pressure mounted as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s dinked effort was saved, Jens Cajuste struck the post, and Giacomo Raspadori fired over. 

Ngonge was denied by the crossbar shortly after the hour mark. In a final push, Victor Osimhen was brought on in the 65th minute, potentially for his last appearance in a Napoli shirt.

Despite their relentless pursuit, Napoli couldn’t find the net. Napoli concluded their season with a disappointing 10th-place finish, extending their winless streak to seven matches, but managed to avoid equaling an unwanted club record by keeping their first clean sheet in 17 Serie A games.