Napoli stretch lead with win over Samp

Victor Osimhen of SSC Napoli competes for the ball with Bram Nuytinck of UC Sampdoria ,during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and SSC Napoli at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on January 8, 2023 in Genoa, Italy.

Despite missing an early penalty, Napoli have bounced back from their first league defeat of the season to beat 10-man Sampdoria 2-0 and extend their advantage at the top of Serie A.

In an emotional match at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday, Victor Osimhen opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Matteo Politano had earlier had his penalty saved.

Sampdoria were hit when Tomas Rincon was sent off shortly before halftime and Napoli went on to seal victory with another penalty, struck home by Eljif Elmas.

Napoli moved seven points clear of second-placed Juventus although defending champion AC Milan had the chance to cut the gap back to five points against Roma later on Sunday.

Clashes had taken place earlier in the day between Roma fans travelling to Milan and Napoli supporters heading to Genoa.

Around 300 fans were involved, throwing flares, stones and other objects at each other, causing part of the motorway to be closed and lengthy lines to form.

There were video tributes before the Napoli match to former Sampdoria players Gianluca Vialli and Sinisa Mihajlovic, who both died recently.

There were also plenty of banners in the stands dedicated to them and chants throughout the match.

The Sampdoria players warmed up wearing special jerseys with Vialli’s name on as well as the number nine he wore when he played for the team.

Flowers were also laid by the side of the field by members of the Sampdoria staff and the Italy players from Napoli.

Elsewhere, Empoli stunned Lazio by scoring two late goals to snatch a 2-2 draw in the Italian capital.

Lazio appeared to have the match won when Mattia Zaccagni doubled their lead early in the second half, following a header by Felipe Anderson with less than two minutes on the clock.

However, Francesco Caputo pulled one back for the visitors seven minutes from time and Razvan Marin netted a surprise equaliser in stoppage time.

Spezia inched four points clear of the relegation zone with a 0-0 draw at home to Lecce, while Salernitana drew 1-1 against Torino.

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