Excitement as Osimhen inspires Napoli win
Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen made his comeback for Napoli after recovering from a thigh injury to provide an assist for the winning goal in their 2-1 victory over Atalanta, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Osimhen got injured while playing for Nigeria in an international friendly against Saudi Arabia in October and in his absence, Napoli had failed to win their last two games with a draw against Union Berlin in the Champions League and a home defeat to Empoli on November 12.
The Nigeria international came in off the bench in the 64th minute replacing Giacomo Raspadori and he did so without his trademark protective mask. The centre-forward has been wearing a version of the mask since the horrific clash of heads with Milan Skriniar in the trip to Inter in October 2021.
When he returned in January 2022, it was with this mask, which then became a trademark, copied by kids all over the world. His doctors assured that the mask was no longer needed last year, but Osimhen continued to use it, especially after winning the Scudetto with this lucky charm. However, with Luciano Spalletti and now Rudi Garcia also gone, he seems to be seeking a fresh start under new coach Walter Mazzarri.
In the match at Gewiss Stadium, another Nigerian forward made his mark as Ademola Lookman sent a towering header into the back of the net to equalise for Atalanta in the 53rd minute after they had gone behind following Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s opener in the 44th.
Napoli restored their lead when Osimhen intercepted a poor clearance and rolled it across for unmarked fellow substitute Eljif Elmas to turn in from six yards at the back post. Meanwhile in the Championship, Wilfred Ndidi also made his injury return but started going straight back into the Leicester City line-up after winning the four-way battle to start in midfield against Watford.
Ndidi is fit again after recovering from a muscle injury that kept him out of the Foxes’ last four matches. Yunus Akgun and Dennis Praet are also fit too, while Cesare Casadei has been the regular alongside Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall over the past month or so.
However, it was the Nigerian who got the nod from Enzo Maresca in just one change from the side that lost to Middlesbrough. Harry Winks, suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season at the Riverside, missed out.
Substitute Jamie Vardy proved the super-sub for Leicester City, scoring two late goals to give the Championship leaders a hard-fought 2-0 home win over Watford. The victory ended a three-match winless run for the Foxes. Punch