A first Scudetto since 1990 is becoming a more distinct possibility week on week for Napoli, who stretched their lead at the Serie A (SA) summit with a 3-0 victory against Spezia.

Despite travelling to Spezia with the incentive of being able to open up a 16-point gap at the top of SA, Napoli started slowly as they struggled to assert their authority on the games. Fortunately for the visitors, Luca Gotti’s men were equally as lacklustre in the opening half-hour, with a wayward header from Napoli’s Giovanni Di Lorenzo symptomatic of the struggles both sides were facing in the first half. That goalless half was perhaps more damaging to Spezia’s chances of an upset, given prior to today, 71% of their league goals had arrived before the break.

With the first half certainly not being one for the football purist, the second couldn’t possibly have been much worse. Two minutes after the break, we’d already seen more action than in the first 45 minutes, and it was the league leaders who were handed the initiative when Arkadiusz Reca incredulously handled in the area. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was never likely to pass up the opportunity to fire Napoli ahead from the spot, and so it proved as he converted his eighth goal of the league campaign.

Having been harshly denied a goal moments earlier, Victor Osimhen was a man on a mission as he attempted to score in five successive league games. That goal did eventually come, and in rather fortuitous fashion, as Osimhen latched onto a miscued Ethan Ampadu clearance in the box to leap higher than Spezia goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski to head home Napoli’s second of the day. In truth, the Partenopei were handed the three points on a plate, and it was another defensive lapse which handed Osimhen his second of the afternoon as Kvaratskhelia unselfishly squared for the Nigerian to double his tally.

Napoli eased off the gas pedal with the clock running down, as Luciano Spalletti withdrew Osimhen with the points already in the bag and their cushion to second place was extended. As for Spezia, their gap to the relegation zone remains at five points for now, but with the two sides immediately below them yet to play this weekend, their position could look a lot more perilous come the end of the matchday.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli) — FlashScore

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