Osimhen nets 2 as Napoli comes back at Frosinone to get title defense off to winning start

Victor Osimhen
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MILAN (AP) — Victor Osimhen scored twice to help defending champion Napoli come from behind to win at newly promoted Frosinone 3-1 on the opening day of Serie A on Saturday.

Osimhen, the leading goal-scorer last season with 26, scored in each half to help Napoli get its title defense off to a good start.

Frosinone took a surprise lead in the seventh minute through an Abdou Harroui penalty before Matteo Politano leveled.

It was a positive debut for new Napoli coach Rudi Garcia, who replaced Luciano Spalletti in the offseason. Spalletti left Napoli after steering the southern team to its first Serie A title in 33 years, saying he was taking a sabbatical year — then was appointed as Italy coach on Friday following Roberto Mancini’s shock resignation.

Frosinone also had a new coach in Eusebio Di Francesco after he took over from Fabio Grosso, who left the team after leading it to its first ever Serie B title.

And it was the home side which surprisingly scored the first goal of the new season after new Napoli signing Jens Cajuste clattered into the back of Jaime Baez. Harroui struck the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner.

It took Napoli until the 24th minute to get back on level terms when Politano’s scuffed shot bobbled out of the Frosinone goalkeeper’s grasp.

Napoli thought it had the lead 10 minutes later but the video assistant referee ruled out Giacomo Raspadori’s strike for an offside by Cajuste in the buildup.

Napoli went in front three minutes from halftime. Giovanni Di Lorenzo used his strength to hold off a defender and pulled the ball back for Osimhen who blasted into the roof of the net.

Frosinone came close to levelling after the break when Baez sent a free kick over the wall but it came off the left post.

Osimhen almost score a stunning goal seconds later but his effort curled just past the top of the right upright.

He sealed the result 11 minutes from time when he sprung the offside trap to run onto a Di Lorenzo throughball and fire it into the bottom right corner.

RACE ON

The race already appears to be on for the top goalscorer award as Lautaro Martínez matched Osimhen with two goals in a 2-0 win by Inter Milan over Monza.

Martínez finished second last year with five goals fewer than Osimhen.

The Argentina World Cup winner got his campaign off to the perfect start as he opened his account in the eight minute, side-footing home a low cross from Denzel Dumfries.

Martínez doubled his tally in the 76th, tapping in at the far post after Marko Arnautović rolled it across the face of goal.

Martínez was given a standing ovation by the Inter fans when he was substituted four minutes later.

Fiorentina swept aside newly promoted Genoa 4-1.

Cristiano Biraghi, Giacomo Bonaventura and Nicolás González put the visitors 3-0 up before halftime and Rolando Mandragora added the other before Davide Biraschi netted a consolation for Genoa.

Hellas Verona, which escaped relegation following a playoff last season, won at Empoli 1-0.

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