Osimhen’s scoring streak on line when Napoli hosts Cremonese

MILAN (AP) — Before scoring two goals, Victor Osimhen apologized for missing a shot.

During the warmup ahead of Napoli’s match at Spezia last weekend, a shot from Osimhen hit a female fan in the stands. The Nigeria striker immediately climbed over the barriers to say sorry.

“I was making a practice shoot and then I kicked the ball so hard and there was a lady there and the ball hit her so hard so I had to go there to give her a hug and say, ‘I’m sorry. It wasn’t intentional,’” Osimhen said.

The Spezia fans would have probably wished his shooting was as wayward during the match — Osimhen scored two second-half goals to help runaway Serie A leader Napoli win 3-0.

His eye for goal, technique and precision is impressive, as is his speed and physicality. Osimhen’s second goal against Spezia was a header that had echoes of one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s most famous scores in Italy but the Napoli forward leapt even higher than the Portugal great.

It was the fifth straight league match Osimhen had scored in and took his tally to 16 in 17 Serie A matches this season.

Just as Napoli is leading the Italian league, Osimhen is leading the scoring chart, with the forward having scored four more goals than Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martínez.

“I believe my confidence is getting higher every day, each training,” the 24-year-old Osimhen said. “And I’m really happy about this, about this form.

“And of course I have to say a big thank you to my teammates, most especially the coach that has given me this confidence and to repay him I have to continue to work for the team, to try to score as much as I can for the team to help them get to victory.”

Next up for Osimhen and Napoli is a home game against last-place Cremonese.

Napoli has a 13-point lead in Serie A, while Cremonese is 10 points from safety and hasn’t won a single league match this season while scoring only 15 goals.

Osimhen alone has scored more than the entire Cremonese team this season.

But Cremonese pulled off a big upset when it won at Napoli on penalties in the Italian Cup three weeks ago. It then went on to eliminate Roma, too, and reach the semifinals for only the second time in its history.

“Cremonese and these players need to show that we belong in this league,” Cremonese coach Davide Ballardini said. “We showed that in the Italian Cup, we also want to show it in Serie A.”


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