Napoli dominated Legia Warsaw, but had to wait until the final stages to break through with Lorenzo Insigne’s stunner, Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano.
This was a must-win match for the Partenopei, who had just one point from two Europa League games and sat bottom of their group, while Legia had six points and no goals conceded. Mario Rui was suspended after his red card against Spartak Moscow, so Juan Jesus stepped in at left-back, while Dries Mertens got his first start of the season.
Chucky Lozano’s header tested the goalkeeper early on, then Mertens saw his strike fingertipped over the bar from a tight angle.
Napoli dominated from the get-go, pinning Legia into their own half, Mertens on the acrobatic volley flashing inches wide.
Desperate defending blocked Mertens and Lozano in the same move, then the goalkeeper used his legs to deflect a Lozano scorcher off target.
Diego Demme thought he’d opened the scoring when unleashing a screamer off the outside of the right boot, but it swerved inches past the far top corner.
Goalkeeper Cezary Miszta flapped at a cross, but then made up for it with a sensational save on Insigne from close range.
Victor Osimhen was thrown on and the pressure increased even more, as Giovanni Di Lorenzo nodded a ball back across the face of goal, shaving both the far post and Mertens who was sliding in.
Insigne’s trademark curler was palmed away, but Kostas Manolas had to come off with a muscular injury.
Another Insigne free kick was punched out from under the bar, Miszta fumbled an Eljif Elmas strike, but Legia Warsaw threatened when substitute Mahir Emreli went on the counter, his scuffed daisy-cutter clipping the base of the upright.
Moments later, Napoli finally broke through with a stunner from Insigne. Matteo Politano’s cross bounced off the turf and the captain smacked it on the half-volley into the roof of the net with remarkable power and precision.
This strike from Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne is ridiculous… 🚀
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 21, 2021
Osimhen had the ball in the net soon after with a beautiful lob that bounced off the bar and in off the goalkeeper, but was offside on the Insigne assist, while Kastrati failed to nod on target from six yards.
Moments later, Osimhen’s goal did count, as he did manage to time his run for a give-and-go with Insigne down the right, beating Miszta at the near post from a tricky angle.
There was still time for a third, as after Andrea Petagna fired just over a couple of times, in stoppages Politano cut inside from the right and unleashed an unstoppable left-foot curler low into the far bottom corner.