Manchester United target Victor Osimhen helped Napoli reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time with a brace against Eintracht Frankfurt yesterday.
He barely touched the ball in the first half, but was alert when he needed to be, with his clinical finishing on show in the Serie A leaders’ 3-0 win.
For his first goal, Osimhen scored a fantastic, looped header on the stroke of half time, connecting with Matteo Politano’s floated cross with a salmon leap that left the Frankfurt defence with no chance of challenging the Nigerian.
His accuracy in placing the ball into the top corner was immaculate, and a real show of composure.
Most impressive about the goal, however, was Osimhen’s movement to create space for himself in the penalty area.
Much like Edinson Cavani, Napoli’s current star striker has a habit of charging directly at the backline when he anticipates a chance, only to then back off once the defence has receded.
That sudden changing of direction or, as in this case, halting of motion entirely, leaves defenders scrambling and off balance. Osimhen essentially stole the keys to the Frankfurt penalty area simply by knowing when to stand still.
Shortly after the restart, Osimhen showed off his predatory instincts again, converting Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s drilled cross across the face of goal.
There was no standing still this time – the Capocannoniere favourite knew exactly where the ball was going and powered his way past his marker to slide into a simple finish.
It came as something of a surprise when, 63 minutes in and with Napoli having won a penalty, Osimhen – now on for a hattrick – did not take the spot kick. Zielinski converted calmly, and progress was assured. After the match, Osimhen revealed that Zielinski asked him to take the penalty so he could score a third, but Osimhen insisted that the Poland international could have it.
At least Manchester United fans can be assured that there will be no arguments over penalty-taking duties should Victor Osimhen sign for the club!
Substituted on the 81st minute, he walked off the pitch have won eight duels, winning three fouls, and completing two dribblers. (SofaScore)
Not a bad performance at all for the number nine. His record for Napoli now stands at 50 goals in 90 games, while he has also become the first player to score in both legs of a Champions League or European Cup knockout tie for the club.
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