Alasdair Mackenzie Date:24th October 2021 at 8:05pm
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STADIO OLIMPICO (Rome) – Napoli‘s perfect start to the league season came to an end on Sunday night as Roma held the Serie A leaders to a 0-0 draw, becoming the first side to take points off the Partenopei in 2021-22.

The hosts were under pressure to perform after a humiliating 6-1 defeat against Norwegians Bodo/Glimt in a midweek UEFA Conference League game, but they responded well and had the best chance of the first half when Tammy Abraham raced on to a through ball and steered a finish just wide.

Napoli improved after the break and Victor Osimhen’s close-range shot was diverted off the post in the best chance of the game after 61 minutes.

Gianluca Mancini came closest for Roma, heading a free-kick wide from six yards, while Osimhen headed home late on but was flagged for offside.

Roma boss Jose Mourinho again made headlines, firstly by leaving five first-team players – Marash Kumbulla, Bryan Reynolds, Amadou Diawara, Gonzalo Villar and Borja Mayoral – out of his squad as punishment for the performance in Norway, and then by picking up a second yellow card for dissent inside the final 10 minutes.

Luciano Spalletti was also sent off by referee Davide Massa after the final whistle for sarcastic applause, but the Napoli coach won’t be too disheartened as his side remain top with 25 points, ahead of AC Milan on goal difference, while Roma are nine points behind them in fourth.