M’Bala Nzola has been defeated by an earring.
The 25-year-old Spezia forward enjoyed a brief 10-minute cameo during a 3-1 defeat to Inter Milan on Friday. The Angola international was subbed on in the 60th minute. Soon thereafter, the referee spotted he wearing earrings and told the player to take them off. By the 70th minute, Nzola was subbed off, apparently unable to remove his earrings. It was Spezia’s fifth and final substitution of the night.
60': M'Bala Nzola is subbed on.
66': The ref instructs him to take his earrings off before he can continue playing.
70': M'Bala Nzola is subbed off because he can't get his earrings off.You don't see that everyday. pic.twitter.com/3BRwZXBM1D
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) April 15, 2022
Yeah, that’s no way to impress your manager, especially when you’ve got two goals in 22 appearances across all competitions this season. Then again, the fourth official probably should have spotted the earrings before Nzola entered the pitch.
Inter Milan took a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute after goals from Marcelo Brozovic and Lautaro Martínez. Spezia briefly made things interesting with a strike from Giulio Maggiore in the 88th minute, but Alexis Sánchez finished things off in the 93rd.
The final goal came after the Chilean was tackled to the ground for what could have been a red card, but instead the attacker got up in time to be on the receiving end of an assist from Martínez.
The win briefly took Inter top of the Serie A table with 69 points, but AC Milan blanked Genoa 2-0 later in the day to return to first place on 71 points, albeit having played a match more than Inter.
Spezia, meanwhile, now sits in 15th place, 11 points above the drop zone. Nzola likely won’t have cost his team a spot in Serie A next season, but if things go south to end the campaign, Spezia coach Thiago Motta will know who he can blame.