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Imago/PA Images Victor Osimhen wheels away after scoring against Sassuolo.
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In-form Nigerian striker helps Napoli go six clear in Serie A while Bayern reclaim top spot
Victor Osimhen helped his side to a 4-0 win over Sassuolo.

VICTOR OSIMHEN CONTINUED his red-hot return from injury with a hat-trick in Napoli’s 4-0 win over Sassuolo which sent his team six points clear at the top of Serie A on Saturday.

Nigeria forward Osimhen struck twice in the first 19 minutes in Naples and then dinked home his third with 13 minutes remaining to ensure Napoli extended both their club-record winning streak to 13 matches and their lead on champions AC Milan, who face Torino on Sunday.

The 23-year-old has burst back into the team after over a month out with a thigh injury, rattling in six goals in his last four matches between Serie A and the Champions League.

Saturday’s clinical display of finishing took his league tally this season to seven goals in eight appearances and moved him level with Bologna’s Marko Arnautovic at the top of the scoring charts.

His first two goals were laid on by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, this year’s revelation who also netted the third in an exciting performance on the day Napoli celebrated late club icon Diego Maradona’s 62nd birthday, which would have been Sunday.

Georgia winger Kvaratskhelia has scored eight times and set up eight more since arriving in the summer and plays for Napoli with the kind of zest and freedom which few have since Maradona fled Italy in disgrace in the early 1990s.

Luciano Spalletti’s team are still unbeaten and have netted 50 times in all competitions, and are starting to look like the real deal, a team which could end Naples’ 32-year wait for the league title.

Meanwhile, sublime performances from forwards Jamal Musiala and Sadio Mane propelled Bayern Munich back to the Bundesliga summit with a 6-2 home romp against Mainz.

Both grabbed a goal each while Mane chipped in with two assists, pushing Bayern two points clear at the top of the table, the first time they have led the Bundesliga since August.

Serge Gnabry opened the scoring after just six minutes, while teenager Musiala scored his seventh goal of the season in the 28th minute.

Mainz centre-back Alexander Hack fouled Mane in the box in the 40th minute. The former Liverpool striker took the penalty and while ‘keeper Robin Zentner saved Mane’s shot, the Senegalese pounced on the rebound to put Bayern 3-0 ahead.

Mainz, who missed a 45th minute penalty, had another brief glimmer of hope before the half-time break when Silvan Widmer heading in from a corner, but Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka scored from a Mane cross in the 58th minute to give Bayern an unassailable 4-1 lead.

French striker Mathys Tel, 17, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting added goals for Bayern late on, while Mainz’s Marcus Ingvartsen pounced on a mistake from Munich goalkeeper late to leave the final score at 6-2.

Bayern have now won six games in a row, scoring 25 goals since their last-minute 2-2 draw away at Dortmund in early October.

2.69511467 PA Leo Messi celebrates. PA

Meanwhile in France, Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain twice came from behind to secure victory in a seven-goal thriller against Troyes.

Christophe Galtier’s side remain unbeaten after battling back to secure a 4-3 win at Parc des Princes.

Mama Balde had the visitors ahead twice in the game only for Carlos Soler and Lionel Messi to draw PSG level.

A Neymar effort and Kylian Mbappe penalty were enough to seal the win, with Ante Palaversa’s late goal making the home side sweat in the closing stages.

– © AFP 2022

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