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Napoli wins first Serie A title in 33 years after securing draw at Udinese

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Napoli won its first Serie A title in 33 years after coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Udinese at the Dacia Arena, Udine, on Thursday.

The league title is the club’s first since 1990, when the late Diego Maradona – after whom the team’s home stadium is named – inspired it to the Scudetto.

It’s only the third time Napoli has won Serie A and the club’s success sparked jubilant celebrations among the players and also in the southern Italian city, many of whom had congregated at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Sandi Lovric’s shot gave Udinese a first-half lead, but Napoli forward Victor Osimhen made it 1-1 early in the second half, guiding the ball home after Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s shot was saved following a corner.

Osimhen, who is Serie A’s leading goalscorer this season, has been key to Napoli’s success and this was his 22nd league goal of the campaign.

The 24-year-old Nigerian scored his goal in front of the traveling Napoli fans, who celebrated the equalizer deliriously.

Fireworks and flares

Even before kick-off, Napoli fans flooded the streets of Naples with thousands of supporters making their way into the club’s home stadium to watch the action in Udine unfold on big screens.

Others set off fireworks and flares in the streets as crowds gathered together in the hope of watching their side finally secure the title – Napoli had squandered an opportunity on Sunday after it unexpectedly drew against Salernitana in front of home support.

Had Napoli won that game Luciano Spalletti’s side would have become the earliest team to win the Serie A title in history – with six games remaining in the league season.

Thursday’s first-half didn’t go to plan for Napoli, though, when it found itself 1-0 down at the break after Lovric’s brilliant strike in the 13th minute.

But Napoli knew a point would be enough to secure a historic title and came out in the second half rejuvenated, buoyed by the traveling fans who created a brilliant atmosphere inside the ground.

According to the BT Sport broadcast, nearly 11,000 Napoli supporters had traveled to the Dacia Arena to witness such a long-awaited moment for their team.

Those fans were rewarded when Osimhen, so often the hero for Napoli this season, scored the equalizer in the 52nd minute.

The celebrations in Udine were only matched by those back in Napoli with the city exploding with excitement – videos showed flares being let off alongside a light show at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The draw was all that was needed for the visitors who left Udine with the biggest prize in Italian football.

Napoli fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate when the referee blew the full-time whistle, with players being mobbed in jubilant scenes.

“Seeing Neapolitans happy is enough to give you a sense of that joy they are feeling,” Napoli coach Spalletti, who at 64 became the oldest manager to win Serie A, told DAZN after the game.

“These people will look to this moment when life gets hard, they have every right to celebrate like this. You feel a bit more relaxed knowing that you’ve given them this moment of happiness.”

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