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Napoli Coach Garcia Backs Osimhen After Penalty Miss

Napoli Coach Garcia Backs Osimhen After Penalty Miss

Napoli coach Rudi Garcia has defended Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen, after he missed a penalty in his side’s 0-0 draw at Bologna on Sunday.

Osimhen had the chance to get back to scoring form when Napoli was awarded a penalty with less than 20 minutes left.

But last season’s Serie A top scorer hit his effort wide off target.

Prior to missing the penalty Osimhen had struck the inside of the post.

He has now gone four consecutive games without scoring with his last goal coming in August. He has scored three goals in five games this season.

Reacting to the penalty miss Garcia, in a chat with DAZN, said: “Even the greatest players in the history of football miss penalties.”

The tension is also visibly growing within the Napoli camp, as the fans jeered Garcia’s decision to substitute Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen.

The Nigerian openly protested the call and shouting angrily at his coach that he wanted two strikers on the field rather than making way for Giovanni Simeone.

But Garcia stated he had a discussed with Osimhen concerning his reaction after being replaced.

“As for when he went off, we talked about that, what I say to my players remains in the locker room.”

It has been a dismal start to the season for the Partenopei, who are seven points adrift of leaders Inter after just five games played.

The last time Napoli had eight points or fewer by the end of Week 5 was six points in the 2015-16 term.

They had also struggled to earn a late 2-1 Champions League win away to SC Braga midweek, which was only secured thanks to an own goal.

When asked what target President Aurelio De Laurentiis had asked of him when he replaced Luciano Spalletti, he said:“A team like Napoli must play in the Champions League every year. Seeing the Scudetto won and the team, Napoli’s place is in the top four, we are not there right now and therefore cannot be happen. At the same time, we must not throw everything out the window, we must push for good fortune to turn our way.

“We have to win on Wednesday, then try to put together a run of victories, because that will allow us to climb up the table. So that starts from Wednesday.”

Napoli will hope to bounce back from the Sunday’s disappointing draw against Bologna when they host Udinese on Wednesday.


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