Napoli held to goalless draw by Verona

Serie A

The intimidating lead held by Italy’s upcoming champions Napoli has been reduced to 14 points as a second-string lineup could only manage a scoreless draw with Verona and second-place Lazio won at Spezia on Friday.

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To win their first league championship since 1990, Luciano Spalletti’s team still needs 11 points from their next eight games, but right now, all attention is focused on Tuesday’s second leg of their quarterfinal matchup with Milan in Naples, where they must overcome a 1-0 lead. At the Stadio Maradona, which produced a powerful noise, not even the second-half entrance of returning star striker Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could result in a goal. Osimhen hit a volley off the crossbar in the 82nd minute.

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Hardcore supporters rallied behind the team following a truce in their spat with owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, which had poisoned the atmosphere at recent home games for Napoli and threatened to overshadow the colorful title celebrations that were already in full swing. The film magnate De Laurentiis tweeted a picture of several of the team’s “ultras” on Saturday with the slogan “We are Napoli. “Fans and the president team up for the win!”

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The ultras had purportedly been upset that they couldn’t carry banners, drums, and other decorations inside the stadium to help set the stage for a memorable season, which would now take place versus Milan. The draw was a good outcome, moving struggling Verona three points behind Spezia, who are currently narrowly above the relegation zone.

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