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Ruthless Napoli continue title march with Torino thrashing

Ruthless Napoli continue title march with Torino thrashing

March 19, 2023 (AFP)

Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia were again the heroes for Napoli on Sunday as Italy's champions-elect thumped Torino 4-0 and moved a whopping 21 points clear at the top of Serie A.

Nigeria striker Osimhen took his league-leading goal tally to 21 with two towering headers in each half with Kvaratskhelia's 35th-minute penalty sandwiched between his attacking partner's brace.

Kvaratskhelia then laid on Tanguy Ndombele's first Serie A goal in the 68th minute following great hold-up play from Osimhen as Napoli took another step towards a first league title since 1990 in front of an army of fans in Turin. 

It was their first away trip after the end of a two-month ban on travelling supporters following a motorway dust up with Roma fans in January.

"It feels great, the support has been overwhelming... there are so many in this place, we were surprised to see them," Osimhen told DAZN.

"They are hoping, it has been so many years they have been believing and their support has been so good. No one deserves this more than the Napoli fans... I'm really happy to put a smile on their faces."

The fans were on hand to see their team put in a typically dominant display which means at worst Napoli will be 18 points ahead of Inter Milan with 11 matches remaining, if Simone Inzaghi's inconsistent side beat Juventus in Sunday's big match.

Lazio will move one point ahead of Inter if they win the Rome derby with fifth-placed Roma in the evening, a match which could have a big impact on the fight for the top four positions.

Napoli march on

Regardless it is only a matter of time before Napoli seal a historic title triumph, one which has come following a campaign of breathtaking football that has Osimhen convinced they can also win the Champions League.

They would have to come out on top of an Italian derby with AC Milan in the quarter-finals and potentially another with Inter in the last four to reach the final, but it would be hard to bet against a team which seems to have caught lightning in a bottle and then used it to fry everything its wake.

Once Kvaratskhelia rolled in his 14th goal of the season Torino offered up no resistance and dropped down to 11th, level on 37 points with Bologna and ninth-placed Fiorentina who won their seventh straight match in all competitions 1-0 over Lecce.

Earlier, Manolo Gabbiadini gave Sampdoria hope they might yet escape relegation with both goals in a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Verona.

Forward Gabbiadini struck twice in the first half at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to help lift Samp off the bottom of the table into 19th place with their first win since January.

Dejan Stankovic's side are nine points behind Spezia, who sit just outside the drop zone and lost 1-0 at Sassuolo on Friday, after Gabbiadini poked home the opener in the 24th minute before lashing home the second 11 minutes later.

Marco Faraoni netted a consolation goal in the 88th minute for Verona, who are one place and four points above Samp, but Alessandro Zanoli responded for the hosts deep in stoppage time.

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