Sports, Football

Spalletti urges Napoli to seize ‘unprecedented’ Scudetto chance after reaching 50 points


Published : 22 Jan 2023 08:43 PM

Napoli must seize their “unprecedented opportunity” to win the Scudetto after reaching 50 points at the halfway mark of the Serie A season by beating Salernitana, said Luciano Spalletti.

Goals from Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Victor Osimhen helped Napoli to a routine 2-0 victory over the strugglers on Saturday, moving them 12 points clear of second-placed Milan ahead of the Rossoneri’s trip to Lazio on Tuesday.

The result made Napoli just the third team to reach 50 points in the first half of a Serie A season, after Juventus (in 2013-14 and 2018-19) and Inter (in 2006-07).

No side has ever failed to win Serie A after reaching a half-century of points at this stage of a campaign, and head coach Spalletti knows Napoli have an incredible opportunity to claim their first league title since 1990. 

“We know that we have an unprecedented opportunity,” Spalletti told DAZN after the win. “We must not squander the possibilities we have. We must remain humble and do things professionally.”

Napoli had to remain patient before making the breakthrough in Salerno, recording their lowest shot tally in the first half of a Serie A match (two) since February 2021 (one v Atalanta).

The Partenopei were good value for their victory after Di Lorenzo hammered home on the stroke of half-time, however, leading Spalletti to praise the way they improved as the game went on.

“These matches can be conditioned by us having too much responsibility,” he said.

“You have to take the field with the right mentality and always play football well, with the correct rhythm, which is what makes you win the games. 

“In the first half we couldn’t find the spaces and indeed we could have risked some dangerous restarts. In the second half, however, everyone did very well.”

As well as his first goal of the season in Serie A, Di Lorenzo’s opener represented his first league strike on the road since he found the net at Sassuolo in March 2021.

Reflecting on Napoli’s incredible campaign to date, the captain credited his team-mates for their response to the pre-season exits of key players including Kalidou Koulibaly, Fabian Ruiz, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens.

“It’s a beautiful first half [of the season],” he said. “We lost important players last summer, but we got off to a great start with a new group. We have to continue like this.

“We’ve improved a lot in game management. We know that every game will be difficult. Tonight’s is a great victory.”