Osimhen scores a hat trick as struggling Serie A champion Napoli routs Sassuolo 6-1

Wed, Feb 28, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Osimhen scores a hat trick as struggling Serie A champion Napoli routs Sassuolo 6-1

ROME (AP) - Victor Osimhen scored a hat trick and struggling Serie A champion Napoli put on one of its best performances of the season with a 6-1 rout of relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Wednesday.

With its first victory under new coach Francesco Calzona, Napoli remained in ninth place but moved level on points with eighth-place Lazio and back into the discussion for the Europe spots.

Calzona, Napoli's third coach this season, was hired to replace the fired Walter Mazzarri last week and had so far produced draws with Barcelona in the Champions League and Cagliari in Serie A.

Sassuolo is third from the bottom and extended its winless run to seven in its first game under Emiliano Bigica, who replaced the fired Alessio Dionisi on Sunday.

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In a matchup of two of this season's biggest disappointments, Sassuolo went ahead early when Uros Racic scored with a long, low, curving shot.

Napoli defender Amir Rrahmani equalized after getting set up by Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Then Osimhen took over with three goals in 16 minutes.

Matteo Politano set up Osimhen's first two goals, enabling last season's scoring leader to tap in twice. Then Khvicha Kvaratskhelia intercepted a gifted pass from a Sassuolo defender and shifted the ball over to Osimhen for another easy goal.

Kvaratskhelia got on the score sheet himself when he dribbled in from the left wing and launched an accurate shot through a crowd of defenders. Then the Georgia dribbling wizard scored again by gathering a rebound of his own shot and sending in another long shot.

Osimhen became the third Napoli player to score at least 10 goals in four consecutive seasons after Diego Maradona (1984-85 to 1987-88) and Attila Sallustro (1929-30 to 1932-33).

It was the second hat trick in Italy for Osimhen, who has now scored five goals over three matches in seven days since returning from the African Cup of Nations, where he helped Nigeria reach the final.

Napoli visits Barcelona for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 matchup on March 12.

Later, Inter Milan was hosting Atalanta looking to extend its lead atop the standings.

Both matches were rescheduled from last month when Napoli and Inter were in Saudi Arabia for the Italian Super Cup, which Inter won.

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