Napoli ended up winning Italy’s Serie A on Thursday, after a 1-1 draw against Udinese secured their third league title with a record-equaling five games remaining.
Thousands of supporters in Udine, at the Stadio Maradona in Naples, and throughout southern Italy’s largest city erupted with jubilation as the final whistle signaled the end of a 33-year wait.
Fans streamed onto the pitch at the Dacia Arena to celebrate following a season dominated by Luciano Spalletti’s team, causing tensions with home fans who were upset at such open celebration on their ground.
Victor Osimhen scored the game-winning goal in the second half as Napoli’s current star came from a half-time deficit to match the squads headed by Diego Maradona that won the league in 1987 and 1990.
When Spalletti and his team return to Naples, they will be greeted with an emotional reception, and the celebrations are expected to go until at least their next home game against Fiorentina on Sunday evening.
“Seeing Neapolitans happy is enough to give you a sense of the joy they’re feeling,” Spalletti, who was on the point of tears, told DAZN.
“These people will remember this moment when times are tough, and they have every right to celebrate in this way.” You feel a little more at ease now that you’ve given them this moment of joy.”
It seemed fitting that Osimhen was the one to lead Napoli to victory, since the Nigerian striker has enjoyed the finest season of his career and has been key in Napoli’s historic charge to glory.
Osimhen’s title-winning goal was his 22nd in 28 league games, and it produced an uproar among the throngs of away fans who had taken over Udine.
Napoli has a 16-point advantage over second-placed Inter. Lazio has left them with a month-long parade between now and the end of the season, allowing their long-suffering supporters to fully unload more than a generation of frustration.
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