Europa League | Spartak Moscow 2-1 Napoli: Qualification now at risk

by | Nov 24, 2021 17:27

Napoli’s Europa League progress is put back in doubt after a 2-1 defeat away to Spartak Moscow, as Eljif Elmas pulled one back, but a dismal start proved decisive.

The Partenopei were decimated by injuries to Victor Osimhen – who will be out for three months with multiple facial fractures – Lorenzo Insigne, Diego Demme, Matteo Politano and Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa. The hosts also had to do without Ezequiel Ponce, Roman Zobnin and Pavel Maslov.

Liveblog: Spartak Moscow vs. Napoli, Atletico-Madrid vs. Milan and Inter vs. Shakhtar

It was the worst possible start for the Partenopei, as within two minutes Stanislav Lobotka had clumsily brought down Quincy Promes just inside the box and Aleksandr Sobolev converted the penalty into the far top corner.

Napoli were shaken and almost conceded more, Sobolev’s header landing on the roof of the net and Alex Meret smothering a Victor Moses effort.

Napoli finally woke up after 15 minutes, Aleksandr Selikhov making a double save on Eljif Elmas, then a sensational one-handed parry on Piotr Zielinski.

Those proved decisive, because Sobolev doubled Spartak’s lead with a header at the back post on the Moses cross.

Napoli had the ball in the back of the net with Giovanni Di Lorenzo on 51 minutes, but the offside flag was up because Andrea Petagna got a flick on the cross.

They were pinning Spartak back into their own half after the restart, a Kalidou Koulibaly header held, Dries Mertens volley fingertipped over the bar and Hirving Lozano curler off target.

The goal had been coming and arrived when Petagna floated a ball to the back post for the head of Elmas.

Di Lorenzo and Piotr Zielinski couldn’t keep their shots down, while Elmas saw another blocked by defensive bodies and his diving header from point-blank range brought another great save out of Selikhov in the final minute.

This result means that Spartak Moscow now leap to the top of the group, with either Legia Warsaw or Leicester City potentially leapfrogging Napoli this evening.

Spartak Moscow 2-1 Napoli

Sobolev pen 3, 28 (S), Elmas 64 (N)

Napoli Spartak Moscow

9 Comments

  1. LANapolifan

    Same old, same old.

  2. LANapolifan

    And under what rocks did they find Petagna and Lobotka? Absolute pieces of garbage.

  3. Love italian football

    Italian teams are suck in the European competitions. Days of glory are long gone 2004 to to 2007. So sad.

  4. FERBAN

    @ Love Italian Football

    The days of glory were 2004 to 2007? No, they weren’t lol. Serie A was on its way down 5 years before that, in the late 90s. The glory days were the 80s and 90s. Since 2000 Serie A has vanished from the Europa league and in the last 10 years, vanished from the CL too.

  5. FERBAN

    No huge surprise. I mean, look at Napoli’s squad. There’s barely enough players to compete in one competition, let alone two.

    Looks like they may need to beat Leicester to go through now. Another big ask given Napoli’s injuries and the fact the epl teams can steamroll Serie A sides when they up the tempo.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Napoli or Leicester even care too much about whether they go through or not.

  6. LANapolifan

    @FERBAN At least Serie A teams aren’t owned by the sovereign wealth funds of murderous, autocratic regimes. Shame on Newcastle and the EPL. A bunch of hypocrites who will take blood money from anyone.

  7. FERBAN

    @LANapolifan

    True, but it’s probably only a matter of time before they are. The epl sold its soul a long time ago, and it’s now probably 70-80% foreign from top to bottom. But the other league want to be just like it, unfortunately.

  8. Feroli

    @LANapolifan

    Shame on Newcastle, PSG, Man City . . . . Perhaps. But when the first mega rich individual or State rocks up to Serie A there won’t be many complaints.

  9. fonseca92

    napoli ARE ran by a murderous, autocratic regime, hes called aurelio de laurentiis lol

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