In the era of three points for a win, nobody like the Spalletti gang. To find a similar gap going back in time you have to go to 1993…
Superstition on one side, arithmetic on the other. This year the latter prevails, because Spalletti’s Napoli is breaking records like crazy. At the halfway point, the statistics speak for themselves: the Azzurri are traveling quickly towards the Scudetto, with a score – and, above all, with an advantage – that had practically never been seen in the past. The slip-ups of Inter and Milan against Empoli and Lazio, which arrived right at the end of the first round, launched Osimhen and his associates to +12 on second place. In the era of 3 points for a win, there is no precedent that compares.
Let’s start with the points: 50, round figure, with the dream of reaching 100 by the end of the season. From 2004 to today, with the championship featuring 20 teams and 38 matches, only Juventus and Inter had managed to do better than this Napoli. Exactly four years ago, in fact, CR7’s first Juve was at 53 points. That year the last Scudetto of the (first) Allegri era arrived, won with five games to spare. Conte’s Juve also finished above the Azzurri – that of the super-year with 102 points – which after 19 days was at 52. Finally, there is Inter after Calciopoli, which at this stage of the season was first to 51. All teams that, in any case, celebrated the Scudetto in May.
POSTING FROM RECORD
Precisely that Inter, coached by Mancini and led by Ibrahimovic, was the closest to this Napoli also in terms of advantage over their opponents. Before the second round began, the Nerazzurri were +9 behind the chasing Roma. An equally clear gap, between first and second place, was also recorded in 2018-2019, still the year of Cristiano Ronaldo’s landing in Italy. Juventus had 9 points more than Napoli: they were record numbers. Then came Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia…
BUT THE DUTCH…
Going even further back in time, when there were only 18 teams in Serie A or even they earned 2 points for a win, however, it is possible to find a strong team, on paper, like Spalletti’s Napoli. It was 1993 and the halfway point came on matchday 17: at that moment Milan had 31 points in the standings, 8 more than Bagnoli’s Inter. Considering that a success was worth 2 and not 3 points, the gap was proportionally wider than the one existing today between Spalletti and Pioli. There is, therefore, a precedent, even if we have to bother… the three tulips. It was Capello’s Milan, Van Basten hadn’t stopped in the pits yet, Rijkaard and Gullit fired their last shots at San Siro before moving on to Ajax and Sampdoria. Even in that case, it goes without saying, at the end of the season it was the Scudetto.
January 25, 2023 (change January 25, 2023 | 4:00 pm)
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