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Soccer News of Tuesday, 26 September 2023


Di Lorenzo blames Osimhen over outburst

Victor Osimhen Victor Osimhen

Napoli captain, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, has faulted Victor Osimhen for overreacting after being substituted in Napoli’s goalless draw at Bologna on Sunday.

The draw left Napoli winless in three consecutive Serie A games.

Osimhen, who failed to end his goal drought in the encounter despite being handed the opportunity from the penalty spot, took his anger on Napoli coach Rudi Garcia after the Frenchman substituted him for Giovanni Simeone, with four minutes left to play.

The Nigerian was captured telling the coach he should have kept two strikers in attack as the team searched for a winner.

Osimhen was visibly angry as he made his way to the substitute’s bench throwing away his jacket.

Reacting to the incident, Di Lorenzo told DAZN, “We manage certain episodes within the locker room. These become more evident when things go wrong.

“In these moments we don’t need such an attitude, we need to be united and focused on the objective. We will talk to the group and the coach to resolve it.

“We don’t like to be behind in the championship, even if only at the beginning.

This is not the first time that Garcia’s decisions have been the subject of dissent, as Khivha Kvaratskhelia expressed his disappointment when he was replaced at Genoa last week.

Meanwhile, Garcia has leaped in defence of Osimhen after his penalty miss.

“The missed penalty happens to the greatest players in the history of football,” Garcia said.

“Then, I obviously spoke to him about his exit, but what I said to him and the team he remains in the locker room. I may not be happy with their performance, but we are a squad with many players and therefore obviously everyone must be used. He is the penalty taker.

“There is a team that starts, one that is in the second half and another at the final whistle. We will not go far unless I can count on all the lads.

“It is a positive that players are not happy when they come off, just as it can happen that I am not happy with their performances. It is a large squad and I want to use them all.”

It has been a poor start to the season for the reigning Italian champions, who are now seven points adrift of leaders Inter Milan after just five league games.