Gennaro Gattuso’s players suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Granada and will face a difficult mission to come back from the result in the second leg that is due to be played in a week’s time, in Naples.
Napoli will feel, perhaps, like they wasted an important opportunity to earn an important victory in tonight’s game. In spite of controlling posession througout most of the match, and enjoying more goalscoring chances, then their opponents, clinical finishing proved to be the clincher.
The match was the first leg between the two sides in the Round of 32 of the Europa League. While Gli Azzurri started the match as clear favorites, the string of injuries with which manager Gattuso has had to contend with may account, in part, for the poor result.
The two goals were scored in the first half by Yangel Herrera and former Chelsea player, Kenedy. While Napoli desperately tried to find the goals to bring them level and even shifted to a more offensive style, the effort proved in vain.
Absences due to injury meant that Gennaro Gattuso was once again forced to improvise in setting up his team. Napoli began in a 4-3-3 formation. The team’s line-up included A. Meret, M. Rui, N.Maksimovic, A. Rrahmani, G. Di Lorenzo, E. Elmas, S. Lobotka, F. Ruiz, L. Insigne, V. Osimhen, M. Politano.
Left-back Mario Rui was the team’s best-rated player leading several attacks down the flank. Midfielder Fabian Ruiz also put in a relatively good performance.
However, the wastefulness in attacks of Lorenzo Isigne and Victor Osimhen, together with the shaky defensive work of Amir Rrahmani Nikola Maksimovic, seala Napoli’s fate in tonight’s game.
The second leg is due to be played back in Naples on Thursday, February 25th.