Napoli beats Parma as fans return to Serie A stadiums

Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Serie A soccer match between Parma and Napoli. (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

MILAN — Napoli won 2-0 at Parma in a match that marked the return of fans to Serie A stadiums on Sunday.

Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne scored in the second half for Napoli, which will be hoping to pose a threat to Juventus’ bid for a record-extending 10th successive Serie A title.

Juventus is in action later at home to Sampdoria in what will be new coach Andrea Pirlo’s first match in charge.

In Parma, fans were present for the first time since Serie A restarted during the coronavirus pandemic after the government agreed on Saturday to allow up to 1,000 fans into stadiums.

Fans had to wear masks and follow social distancing regulations, while they also had their temperature checked upon entering the stadium.

They had little to cheer in the first half with just one shot on target.

The intensity increased after the break and Napoli was further transformed when new signing Victor Osimhen was brought on in the 61st minute.

The forward was involved in the opener two minutes later when he pressured Parma’s Simone Iacoponi in the penalty area causing the defender to head Hirving Lozano’s cross straight at Mertens who drilled it into the bottom right corner.

Osimhen almost helped Napoli double its lead moments later when his flick found Insigne, who hit the post.

Insigne did score in the 77th minute and Osimhen was again involved. Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe got a hand to Lozano’s cross that was directed at the Nigeria forward but could only palm it straight at Insigne, who fired in the rebound from close range.

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