Napoli forced to wait for Serie A title after draw

Luciano Spalletti SSC Napoli head coach during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Salernitana at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on April 30, 2023 in Naples, Italy. 

Napoli will have to wait for their first Serie A title in 33 years after being held to a draw by Salernitana at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

They last won the league in 1990 with a Diego Maradona-inspired side adding to their first title three years earlier.

Luciano Spalletti’s side were on course for the victory they needed when Mathias Olivera headed home a 62nd-minute corner.

But Boulaye Dia equalised with a left-footed drive six minutes from time.

It silenced an expectant crowd who made a cacophony of noise and set off blue smoke flares inside and outside the stadium, where thousands of fans lined the streets, when Napoli went ahead.

“The players are obviously disappointed at not having made our brilliant fans happy tonight,” Spalletti told DAZN.

“But you’ve seen for a while that these points are the hardest ones to get.

“We represent their dreams and that means it’s right that their dreams are realised by us.”

Despite the disappointment Napoli are almost certain to win the title, with just two points needed from their final six games to secure a third Serie A crown – and first without talisman Maradona.

Their next chance to secure the title will come when they travel to Udinese on Thursday, but they could also win it before then if results go their way.

Second-placed Lazio, who are 18 points behind, must beat Sassuolo on Wednesdayp0p while Juventus, who are 20 points back in third with a game in hand, must win later on Sunday (19:45 BST) and on Wednesday.

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