Leicester Napoli

REPORT: LEICESTER CITY 2-2 NAPOLI, THE AWAY SIDE COME BACK FROM A TWO GOAL DEFICIT TO TAKE A SHARE OF THE SPOILS

faced in the UEFA with both teams looking for a quick start.

Osimhen got the first shot of the night on target after Perez’s giveaway within three minutes. Schmeichel spilled the shot but the defence was there to clear it away. On the other side, some quick play from the Foxes saw Barnes presented with a good chance that was well saved by Ospina. However, their next attack did pay off. Daka and Barnes combined down the left with the latter’s cross volleyed home by Perez making a late run into the box.

 

The game settled down a bit after that but Napoli were very much getting the lion’s share of possession. They were patiently trying to find their opportunities to go forward but the killer ball was lacking. The home side themselves were also looking to add a second but both defences were holding strong. Osimhen ran away from the backline before squaring it for an onrushing Zielinski. However, Castagne got back to make a last ditch challenge and deny the Pole.

 

The next big chance fell to Insigne whose clean strike from inside the box following a corner flashed just wide. Brendan Rodgers’ men were clearly having trouble coping with Schmeichel producing a brilliant diving save from Lozano’s free header. That was that for the first half with Leicester holding the team but Napoli very much in the ascendancy.

 

The second half started just how the first ended with Napoli seeing all of the ball and looking for an opening. Leicester were having a lot of defending to do as they were camped inside their own half. But when they eventually did just before the hour mark, it was to superb effect or so it seemed.

Some quick one-touch play saw Tielemans feed the ball to Daka whose powerful shot went straight through Ospina. However, the Zambian was deemed to be just marginally offside and the goal was chalked off. However, they were not to be denied for long. Napoli sloppily gave the ball away inside their own half with Iheanacho playing a lovely pass to set Barnes free. The winger took his time and picked his spot from a tight angle to double their lead.

 

The away side wasted little time in halving the deficit though. Intricate play among Insigne, Ruiz and Elmas saw the Macedonian flicking the ball to Osimhen who let it bounce and as Schmeichel came rushing out, lifted the ball calmly over the Dane and into the net. That was followed by intense pressure on the Foxes’ goal as Napoli looked for a leveler. Elmas‘ shot was palmed away by Schmeichel as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

With three minutes remaining, the pressure finally told with Politano’s beautiful cross being met by a thumping header from Osimhen to make it 2-2. Things went from bad to worse for Leicester as Ndidi was shown a second yellow card in injury time. That did not harm their chances further as the game ended all square.

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

FOXES HANG ON FOR THE DRAW

It was certainly not the best night for the home side as they were thoroughly dominated by the Italians. Despite taking the very early lead, Napoli controlled much of the game and always seemed to be on the frontfoot. They were bailed out by some stout defending and good goalkeeping while looking for counter attacking chances of their own. Those were few and far in between with the away side almost equalizing just before the break.

 

Nevertheless, some sloppy play allowed them to forge ahead and then again for real after the previous attempt was cancelled by VAR. However, they remained under the pump for the rest of the match and allowed their two-goal lead to be caught as the game drew to a close.

 

PROFLIGATE NAPOLI GET A POINT

Luciano Spaletti’s men completely outplayed their hosts, enjoying the bulk of possession as well as winning the ball easily whenever they lost it. They had a bucket load of chances in the first half but somehow trailed. The second half, though it was a good start, soon gave away to a horror show as they conceded again.

 

However, they did not let their heads up and ramped up the pressure even further. Chance after chance, corner after corner came until finally Osimhen scored to halve the deficit. The Nigerian got his second of the night just before the end but Napoli will feel it is two points dropped.

 

TOUGH START FOR BOTH

The two teams who are considered the favourites to go through from this group shared a point in a game that either could have won ideally. Leicester need to improve by a lot if they hope to make advances in the competition while Napoli showed why they are still undefeated this season.

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