Napoli-Lecce 0-0: De Laurentiis out of Europe

With the Apulians already safe, the Azzurri did not find the victory that could have taken them to the Conference League

by our correspondent Vincenzo D’Angelo

May 26, 2024 (change at 8.45pm) – NAPLES

The last one of the year is the mirror of the season: total disappointment. Napoli also fails at the last objective, they cannot find a jolt of pride even to continue to hope for a place in the Conference which could only be achieved by overtaking Toro in the standings and with Fiorentina winning the Conference League. With Lecce it’s 0-0, with a post and a crossbar that increase the regret and also the decibels of the whistles at the end of the match. Everything to be reset and erased: Calzona finished a match for the first time without conceding a goal but it is a very useless statistic after yet another failure of the season. A very heavy protest, like the climate that prevailed throughout the ninety minutes of the match: Napoli has definitively broken with its people and now it will be difficult to start again from this rubble. There is a way to bring back enthusiasm and Aurelio De Laurentiis knows it: his name is Antonio Conte, a guarantee of success. The president is trying, he is getting closer and closer. But in the meantime, he too has received his share of insults and boos. Naples does not forgive.

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Very little happens in the first half and it is Maradona’s protest that takes center stage. Banners highlighting the home defeats, the bad figures that the Azzurri people have not yet digested: “we are grateful to you, but you will hardly be remembered” is the writing that stands out in curve B. On the pitch, Napoli play the game but trot along, without ever kicking on goal. Lecce does it instead, chipping the post with Dorgu (9′) and then coming close to taking the lead on the restart with Berisha just before the break, but Ostigard saves in the corner.

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Ngonge enters and the first shot on goal of the match arrives immediately, with Falcone flying to put it in the corner. Kvara has two super chances in one minute (6′), but first he chooses the left lob neutralized by Falcone and then diagonally from an excellent position he shoots wide. But Napoli are now there and pushing, and only the post denies Cajuste the advantage (8′). And in the 18th minute it was Ngonge again who hit the crossbar after a splendid personal initiative. Calzona throws Osimhen into the mix for Cajuste and switches to 4-2-3-1. Napoli tries to pick up the pace, but crashes into Lecce’s attentive defense: in the 26th minute Baschirotto blocks Olivera on the edge of the small area. Ostigard misses the target in the melee, while on the other side Oudin comes close to scoring from distance. It ends like this, without a goal and without the possibility of still hoping for a European gift from Fiorentina. Rightly so, this team doesn’t deserve the continental showcase.

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