The challenge between Francesco Acerbi and Victor Osimhen in yesterday’s Serie A match between Napoli and Inter Milan wasn’t a penalty.
This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
The biggest refereeing flashpoint in yesterday’s match came in the second half.
With Inter leading 1-0, Napoli were still very much in the match.
As the Partenopei probed for an equalizer, striker Victor Osimhen was on the edge of the penalty area.
Inter defender Francesco Acerbi put in a clumsy challenge on the Nigerian.
Given that the contact took place inside the Nerazzurri penalty area, if referee Davide Massa had seen it as a foul then he would have pointed to the spot.
And that’s certainly what Osimhen felt the official should have done. The Napoli striker furiously appealed for a penalty.
And Osimhen’s teammates joined the 24-year-old in asking for Massa to award a spot kick.
Acerbi Osimhen Contact In Napoli Inter Clash No Penalty
Massa did not initially award a penalty for the contact.
And VAR also did not intervene to reverse the on-pitch decision. After a brief check, play was restarted.
This left a bitter taste in the mouth for Napoli, who had hoped for the chance to equalize from the spot.
The big question, then, is whether or not not awarding a penalty was the correct decision.
There was clearly some contact between the Inter defender and Napoli striker.
But the Gazzetta take the stance that Massa was correct. The contact was light and incidental, and it would have been very harsh to award a penalty for it.
Meanwhile, the newspaper also assess the potential foul in the buildup to Inter’s first goal.
Napoli’s players felt that there was an attacking foul by Lautaro Martinez on Stanislav Lobotka in midfield moments before Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring with a long-range effort.
But in the view of the Gazzetta there was little in the incident.
Massa saw it and felt that it was simply a 50/50. The Gazzetta argues that there were no sufficient grounds to rule out Inter’s goal for the “foul” even if it was far from a clean challenge.