The Super Eagles striker could not rescue the Parthenopeans from crumbling against Davide Ballardini’s side
Victor Osimhen was on parade for Napoli, albeit, could do little as they lost 2-1 to Genoa in Saturday’s Serie A encounter.
The fit-again Nigeria international made a cameo appearance in Wednesday’s 0-0 Copa Italia draw versus Atalanta – replacing Mexican forward Hirving Lozano in the 82nd minute.
Against the Griffin, manager Gennaro Gattuso introduced him for Andrea Petagna in the 54th minute. Even at that, he was unable to prevent the Parthenopeans from losing their seventh game of the 2020-21 campaign.
Buoyed by their 1-0 victory over Cagliari their last time out, Genoa started the game brightly by creating scoring chances in the opening minute of the game.
Their persistence paid off in the 11th minute as Goran Pandev put them ahead thanks to a Milan Badelj assist. Profiting from a horrendous defending from the visitors, Badelj teed up the Macedonian forward who rifled past goalkeeper David Ospina.
Fourteen minutes later, Pandev completed his brace to give Davide Ballardini’s men a dream start at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Gattuso’s side came out strongly after conceding the second time, nevertheless, they were unable to break down a solid Genoa backline.
In the second-half, they stepped up their chase to avoid defeat with manager Gattuso bringing in Lorenzo Insigne and Osimhen for Piotr Zielinski and Petagna respectively in the 54th minute.
That substitution added spark to Napoli’s attacking setup and in the 79th minute, Matteo Politano reduced the deficit after shooting past goalkeeper Mattia Perin from a goal mouth scramble.
Despite a late attacking surge from the visitors, they were unable to get the needed equaliser as they returned to Rome with heads bowed low.
Algeria star Faouzi Ghoulam was ruled out of the game due to illness, while Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly remains in isolation having contracted Covid-19.
For Ballardini’s side, Cameroonian defender who is on loan from RB Salzburg Jerome Onguene was an unused substitute.
Notwithstanding this result, Napoli remain fifth in the Italian Serie A log with 37 points from 20 games, while Genoa occupy the 11th spot with 24 points with a game more.
Since November 2020, Osimhen has seen playing time for the Italian giants reduce owing to a shoulder injury suffered while on international duty with Nigeria against Sierra Leone in a 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game.