The club-record signing has enjoyed an excellent preseason for Luciano Spalletti’s men, and he once again impressed from the start on Sunday
Victor Osimhen played another prominent role as Napoli handed a 2-1 defeat to Ascoli in their latest friendly tie.
Osimhen, a club-record transfer signing from Lille last summer, has been by some distance Napoli’s best player during their preseason games. The Nigerian international has managed seven goals in three friendly wins, including a brace in the 3-0 thrashing of Bayern Munich.
But the 22-year-old was omitted from the Napoli squad that traded tackles with Polish side Wisla Krakow the last time out.
However, Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti returned Osimhen to the starting eleven against Ascoli, and his tenacity was crucial to the Serie A side opening the scoring after just seven minutes.
An opponent brought down the Super Eagles striker in the danger zone, and skipper Insigne made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Ascoli refused to lie down and roll over for their more illustrious rivals, though. And it was not a surprise when Avlonitis and Bidaoui combined well from a corner-kick in the 25th minute as the latter grabbed the equaliser for the Serie B side.
The tie stayed balanced at the halfway point, but it would have been a different story had Osimhen, after some good movement, made clean contact from a fine cross shortly before the interval.
The second half started pretty much like the first with Napoli on the front foot. And Spalletti’s men were back in front just past the hour mark when Elmas, seconds after replacing Fabian Ruiz, beat Ascoli keeper Leali with a delicate lob following a period of good inter-play between the Neapolitans.
Osimhen would be pleased with his display despite not scoring as Spalletti continues to implant his philosophy into the team with the Italian Serie A season around the corner.