Luciano Spalletti apologised to Napoli supporters for missing the chance to seal the Scudetto in front of their home fans on Sunday.
The Partenopei seemed on course to secure their first league title in 33 years after Mathias Olivera headed Napoli into the lead in the second half against Salernitana at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Lazio’s 3-1 defeat earlier in the day at Inter meant a win would have been enough for Napoli, yet just as celebrations were starting in and around the stadium, Boulaye Dia snatched a 1-1 draw for Salernitana with a stunning 84th-minute equaliser.
Napoli could still clinch the title as soon as Wednesday if Lazio fail to beat Sassuolo, but Spalletti acknowledged his side had let their supporters down with the late concession.
The Napoli coach told DAZN: “We are very sorry for not giving the happiness [of winning the title] to this wonderful crowd.
“We represent what their dream is. It is right that they receive this dream they have. We are the ones who materialise the dreams of our fans.
“We have to score this extra goal to give it to them. From my point of view, the enjoyment is only delayed because I am very comfortable with the current standings.
“We postpone it for now but it is a lengthening of the celebrations because I am convinced we will get the two points [to win the league].”
The game ends all-square
90+6 | #NapoliSalernitana 1-1
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) April 30, 2023
Their surely imminent Scudetto triumph would mark Napoli’s first such success since the Diego Maradona era.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen have led the way for the Partenopei on their quest for glory, but Spalletti emphasised the importance of his squad this term.
“It’s clear that if it [winning the title] were to happen, I’d have some satisfaction too,” he added. “But the players deserve it more because I’ve seen the attention, willingness and quality they have come to train.
“I’m referencing those who have played less because they force those who have played the most to keep the bar high and it becomes difficult to become a soft or demotivated team.”
Napoli sit 18 points clear and could wrap up the title when they face Udinese on Thursday, albeit the championship could be settled a day earlier if Lazio falter against Sassuolo.
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