Victor Osimhen saw one penalty saved before scoring another as Napoli marked their Scudetto celebrations with a 1-0 win against Fiorentina amid a carnival atmosphere.
Having ended a 33-year wait to win Serie A on Thursday, Luciano Spalletti’s men were greeted by a jubilant crowd at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, but two much-changed lineups made for a low-key opening.
Osimhen thought he had missed the Partenopei’s best chance for victory when he had a second-half spot-kick saved by Pietro Terracciano, but a foul on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia gave him the chance to atone.
Serie A’s top goalscorer hammered home at the second time of asking, ensuring Napoli’s long-awaited Scudetto party was capped with three points.
Fiorentina gave Napoli a pre-match guard of honour, but they were determined not to extend similar levels of hospitality after kick-off, Luka Jovic heading narrowly over early on.
Eljif Elmas shot wide as Napoli – who started with Kvaratskhelia and Stanislav Lobotka on the bench – were slow to click into gear.
Jovic went close again when his deft header was turned away by Pierluigi Gollini, before Osimhen fired into the side netting from a tight angle as half-time approached.
Both Kvaratskhelia and Lobotka were introduced as Napoli looked to step things up, and the latter had an immediate impact when he tempted Sofyan Amrabat into a clumsy foul after the restart, handing Osimhen his first spot-kick.
Osimhen was denied on this occasion as Terracciano pushed his effort around the left-hand post, but he was to get another chance with 16 minutes left.
Nicolas Gonzalez tripped Kvaratskhelia as he darted into the area, and Osimhen made no mistake second time around, blasting into the roof of the net.
Christian Kouame missed Fiorentina’s best chance to level when he lifted over late on, ensuring the champions clung on.
What does it mean? Fiorentina fail to spoil the party
Following a wait of 33 years between their second and third Scudetto triumphs, nothing was likely to mar the wild celebrations which greeted Napoli’s return to home soil on Sunday.
Nevertheless, it was fitting that the champions warmed up for the formal Scudetto presentation with a win, with Capocannoniere frontrunner Osimhen scoring his 23rd goal of a terrific individual campaign in Serie A.
Osimhen surpasses Weah
Osimhen’s 47th goal in Serie A was also his first from the penalty spot, coming shortly after Terracciano had denied the Nigeria international from 12 yards.
The Napoli striker claimed a slice of history with his game-winning strike, surpassing George Weah (46 goals) to become the highest-scoring African player in Italian top-flight history.
Terracciano heroics not enough
Having turned Osimhen’s first spot-kick wide, Fiorentina goalkeeper Terracciano has now saved three penalties in Serie A, with two of those coming against Napoli (also denying Lorenzo Insigne in May 2021).
The Viola shot-stopper was unable to repeat the trick from Osimhen’s second kick, however, as Fiorentina missed the chance to strengthen their grip on eighth place.
Napoli visit Monza for their next Serie A fixture on Sunday, while Fiorentina welcome Basel to Italy for the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final tie on Thursday.