The Italian gaffer tinkered with his starting lineup, dropping the Nigerian, but he came off the bench to salvage a point for his side
Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti did not start star striker Victor Osimhen, but the Super Eagles forward came off the bench to score Napoli’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Cagliari.
The Partenopeans went away to Cagliari, and a win for them would have seen them climb to the summit of the Serie A table after their fellow title contenders failed to win their games at the weekend.
Spalletti named a weakened starting eleven without Osimhen, Ruiz, and Insigne. And it showed as Napoli looked out of sorts on the night.
The first half was rather drab, with Napoli failing to create a lot of chances. Yellow cards to Joao Pedro and Kevin Malcuit were the major highlights.
However, Napoli went behind in the second half as an error from Ospina gifted Cagliari a goal in the 58th minute. He missed a harmless-looking shot from Gaston Pereiro, and the ball just trickled into the net.
After his side went down, Spalletti decided to act, introducing Osimhen, Ruiz and Ounas into the game. His substitutes changed the game as they started to control the ball better and looked more dangerous.
And in the 87th minute, Osimhen stepped up. The Nigerian superstar jumped and headed in a pinpoint cross from Mario Rui to restore parity, making it 1-1.
Napoli looked threatening for the rest of the game, but Cagliari held out for a 1-1 draw. The result leaves Napoli in third, two points away from AC Milan, who sit at the summit.