September 24, 2021

Serie A Wrap: Okereke opens Venezia account, Koulibaly leads Osimhen’s Napoli past Juventus

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The Africans were on target as the Blues and the Winged Lions secured victories in Saturday’s Italian elite division matches

David Okereke opened his Serie A account in Venezia’s 2-1 away victory over Empoli on Saturday evening.

The former Nigeria U23 star – who joined the Winged Lions on loan from Club Brugge – made his bow in the 3-0 loss to Udinese.

Against Gli Azzurri inside Stadio Carlo Castellani, Okereke found the sumptuous moment to inspire the newly-promoted side to their first win of the 2021-22 campaign.

Lifted by their shock 1-0 triumph over Juventus last time out, Empoli welcomed Paolo Zanetti’s side to Tuscany. However, their wastefulness cost them maximum points before their home fans.

Thirteen minutes into the game, the visitors took the lead as Thomas Henry latched onto an inch-perfect cross from Mattia Aramu to slot past goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

They could have doubled their advantage before the halftime break, but Dennis Johnsen failed to find the net despite coming one on one with Vicario.  

Empoli commenced the second half like a house on fire, yet their profligacy denied them from restoring parity.

In a bid to get more goals, manager Zanetti threw Okereke into the fray for Antonio Junior Vacca in the 67th minute. A minute later, he justified his inclusion by tucking the ball into the bottom corner after finding his way inside the hosts’ backline.

Not willing to go down without a fight, the Blues pulled a goal back in the 89th minute courtesy of Nedim Bajrami from the penalty mark.

Elsewhere, Cameroon international Andre-Frank Anguissa marked his Napoli debut with a 2-1 comeback victory over Juventus.

In the keenly contested encounter, visiting Old Lady took the lead through Alvaro Morata in the tenth minute after profiting from a slip from Kostas Manolas.

Despite an improved performance, the Parthenopeans were unable to equalise as their attacking forays were met by a strong Juventus backline.

Seventeen minutes into the second half, Napoli leveled matters through Matteo Politano who poked home a rebound from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s save off Lorenzo Insigne’s brilliant curling effort.

With five minutes left on the clock, Kalidou Koulibaly had the final say with the winner.

While Anguissa was in action from start to finish, Nigeria international Victor Osimhen was subbed off for Andrea Petagna in the 90th minute.

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