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Napoli reclaim top spot after Osimhen’s important goal

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Napoli’s Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen goes for a header during the Italian SerieA football match against Torino on Sunday. AFP

Napoli reclaim top spot after Osimhen’s important goal

Napoli returned to the top of Serie A on Sunday after Nigerian international Victor Osimhen scored the only goal in a hard-fought 1-0 win against Torino.

AC Milan had moved to the top of the table after battling back from two goals down to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 at the San Siro on Saturday.

But Napoli moved back to the summit after Osimhen, who had scored for his country in a 2-0 win against the Central African Republic in World Cup qualifying the previous week, headed the 81st-minute winner.

Lorenzo Insigne’s weak first-half penalty was saved and Mexico international Hirving Lozano hit the post before Osimhen made the most of an attempted clearance that ricocheted off team-mate Eljif Elmas.

“It was the most important goal of my career,” said Osimhen.

“I’m so pleased. The atmosphere at the stadium was incredible. The fans pushed us forward and we managed to get the three points.

He added: “We never gave up, we attacked until the end and deserved the win. I saw the ball fly up and I thought I could get there before the defenders. I connected well and scored such an important goal for me and the team.”

Napoli have 24 points, two more than AC Milan, after equalling the best start in club history, having also won their first eight games in 2017-18.

Reigning champions Inter Milan are on 17 points after losing ground following a 3-1 defeat away to Lazio on Saturday.

Juventus continued their climb following a disastrous start as Moise Kean’s first-half goal clinched a 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

WojciechSzczesny saved a penalty from Roma midfielder Jordan Veretout just before half-time as Juventus made it four wins on the bounce, moving up to seventh.

Roma remain fourth but have lost three of their past five outings.

“I like 1-0, as it’s a good result, especially as we kept another clean sheet,” Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

“Roma are a technically good team, they have a lot of quality and caused us problems early on, then we scored a good goal and improved as time wore on.”

Atalanta were easy 4-1 winners against Empoli on Sunday as they warmed up to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Veteran Slovenian forward Josip Ilicic, recalled to the team after suffering from a combination of a knee injury and severe depression, scored the opener and his first goal of the season when he was well served by JoakimMaehle on 10 minutes.

Ilicic, 33, got his second with a rasping shot on 26 minutes but Federico Di Francesco pulled a goal back for the home side.

Four minutes into the second half, Atalanta took a 3-1 lead when 19-year-old Empoli defender Mattia Viti scored an own goal before the visitors wrapped up the win when Colombian forward Duvan Zapata got his 100th Serie A goal.

The team from Bergamo now head to northwest England to face United, who were beaten 4-2 at Leicester on Saturday, in Champions League Group F.

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