Europa League. Spartak has a Napoli patent. This is bad news for Legia Warsaw

The team from Naples, Russia, had to cope with an extremely truncated line-up. Due to an injury, they did not fly to Moscow, among others Lorenzo Insigne, Andre Anguissa, or Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian striker in the last league game against Inter Milan suffered a serious orbital fracture and had to undergo surgery. It is estimated that Osimhen will return to the pitch in three months at the earliest. On the other hand, Diego Demme and Matteo Politano are infected with the coronavirus. Fabian Ruiz started the game on the sidelines.

Spartak Moscow once this season managed to make a surprise and in the first Europa League match played in Naples, he took the full pot, triumphing 3-2. The rematch, played in the capital of Russia in a truly winter scenery, also began perfectly for the hosts. Already in 40 seconds (!) Stanislav Lobotka knocked Quincy Promes down in the penalty area, and Aleksandr Sobolew probably used the “eleven”.

The Serie A leader needed a few minutes to adapt to unusual conditions and take the initiative. In the 15th minute, Aleksandr Selikhow saved Spartak from the loss of a goal, who stopped Elif Elmas’s strokes twice. Spartak’s goalkeeper in the 24th minute again showed a beautiful intervention, this time after a shot by Piotr Zieliński, who by accepting the ball cheated two of the hosts’ defenders in the penalty area, but the 27-year-old defended his strong shot with his hand.

Unused situations quickly took revenge on the team from near Vesuvius. In the 28th minute, Victor Moses danced on the wing with Mario Ruim, and Kalidou Koulibaly did not do the best after his cross, who did not reach the ball, and Napoli again hit the net, this time with a Sobolew head shot. For the Russian representative it was the fourth goal in this year’s edition of the Europa League.

Luciano Spalletti’s players did not manage to compensate for the losses until the break, and just at the end of the first part, after Rui’s cross, a good chance was wasted by Hirving Lozano.

In the 51st minute, after the action of Piotr Zieliński, the Neapolitans scored a contact goal, but the joy of Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who defeated Selikhov, did not last long. After a while, an offside position was blown.

The advantage of the team from Vesuvius grew with every minute. In the 62nd minute, Selikhow again stood in the way of the Neapolitans, defending Dries Mertens’ shot. A moment later, Lozano made a slight mistake. Two minutes later, the efforts of the guests had already paid off. The counterattack brought Mario Rui to Andrea Petagna. The growing attacker noticed Elif Elmas in the penalty area, who completed the formalities with a head shot.

Napoli clearly caught the “wind in the sails” and was looking for an equalizing goal. In the 66th minute, Piotr Zieliński had another chance, but his shot flew high above Spartak’s goal.

Napoli tried to achieve an equalizing goal until the very end. In the 90th minute, Elmas was again looking for his luck with a head shot, who could have scored the double, but Spartak was once again saved by Selikhow.

The hosts managed to maintain a favorable result and thus the team from Moscow took the lead in the group C table.

Spartak Moscow – SSC Napoli 2: 1 (2: 0)

Goals: Aleksandr Sobolew (3rd – penalty, 28th) – Elif Elmas (64th)

Yellow cards: Litwinow, Sobolew, Promes (Spartak) – Koulibaly (Napoli)

Spartak Moscow: Aleksandr Selikhow – Maximiliano Caufriez, Georgij Dzikiya, Samuel Gigot – Victor Moses (83 Nikolai Rasskazov), Mikhail Ignatov (72. Aleksandr Lomowitski), Nail Umjarov, Ruslan Litvinov, Ayrton – Aleksandr Sobolew, Quincy Jordan Larsson (90 + 2. ).

SSC Napoli: Alex Meret – Jan Jesus, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mario Rui, Giovanni Di Lorenzo – Stanislav Lobotka (79. Amir Rrahmani), Piotr Zieliński, Hirving Lozano, Dries Mertens, Elif Elmas – Andrea Petagna.

About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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