Luciano Spalletti Delivers Napoli Title Verdict After Fiorentina Loss

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti conceded that a ‘goal-friendly’ 3-2 defeat to Fiorentina has changed the complexity of the Scudetto race. The Partenopei had a glorious opportunity to leapfrog table-topping Milan at the Serie A summit, yet Vincenzo Italiano’s men had other ideas.

Fiorentina took a half-time lead through Argentine forward Nicolas Gonzalez midway through the first half. Napoli had a couple of decent chances to draw level before the break, but Victor Osimhen and Lorenzo Insigne failed to convert.

Still, Napoli restored parity on the stroke of the hour mark as Dries Mertens slotted home a perfectly-driven low effort. Inspired by the equalising goal, Spalletti’s men continued to dominate the game and keep La Viola deep inside their own half. 

However, Fiorentina stunned the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium again. Jonathan Ikone hammered home through the defender’s legs and into the bottom right corner to re-establish a one-goal cushion. Only six minutes later, Arthur Cabral made light work of Stanislav Lobotka before smashing the ball in the exact same corner. 

Osimhen handed Napoli a glimmer of hope in the 84th minute, but his top-class finish came to no avail. Spalletti’s men could lose more ground on Milan if the Rossoneri outscore Torino later today. The Italian manager is aware of how damaging this defeat could be for his side’s title bid.

This is a very costly defeat and in certain ways was undeserved. Fiorentina played their game and earned the win, but we started strong, then tried to play too long and allowed them to take control of midfield,” Spalletti told DAZN, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB.

When we conceded the second goal, it all became far more difficult. We have to take some of the blame for what happened, but it’s so disappointing because the fans, the attitude of the whole team throughout the week was the right one.