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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Serie A: Napoli's European hopes hang by a thread

Napoli took the lead in the eighth minute through defender Amir Rrahmani, who nodded home a corner by Matteo Politano

Reuters Florence Published 19.05.24, 11:03 AM
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Napoli's hopes of playing European football next season were hanging by a thread after they played out a 2-2 draw at Fiorentina in Serie A on Friday.

Napoli took the lead in the eighth minute through defender Amir Rrahmani, who nodded home a corner by Matteo Politano.

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Cristiano Biraghi levelled for Fiorentina in the 40th minute from a free-kick, before M'Bala Nzola put the hosts in front two minutes later when he fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia responded with another stunning free-kick early in the second half to rescue a point for his team.

Eighth-placed Fiorentina, on 54 points and with a game in hand, are five points behind Lazio in seventh. They can still earn a Europa League spot either by leap-frogging the Rome side or by winning the Europa Conference League final on May 29.

Ninth-placed Napoli, on 52 points, still have a slim chance of making the Europa Conference League playoffs.

The owner of champions Inter Milan warned over the club's stability after failing to reach an agreement with debt holder Oaktree, as a deadline rapidly approaches to repay a multi-million loan.

Chinese conglomerate Suning, which holds a 68.5% stake in Inter Milan, has to hand back roughly $408 million to Oaktree, a US-based investment fund, by the beginning of next week.

"We have been making every attempt with our partner to find an amicable resolution, including multiple paths for Oaktree to achieve a full and immediate financial return," said Inter Milan chairman Steven Zhang in a letter to supporters.

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