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UEFA Europa League
February 28, 2014
• Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
Referee: O. Hațegan
• Attendance: 31121
L. Insigne 17'
G. Higuaín 78'
G. İnler 90'+
Napoli win Aggregate 3 - 1
J. de Guzmán 30'
Shots on Target
That's all that we have time for from Naples, we hope that you have enjoyed our live coverage of Napoli's tight 3-1 Europa League victory over Swansea, with Benitez's side facing Porto in the next round. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time.
Goals from Insigne, Higuain and Inler were enough to eliminate Garry Monk's travelling Swans, despite an equaliser from Jonathan de Guzman giving the Welsh side hope. It was close until the final stages, with a fantastic save from Pepe Reina required to deny Swansea a late equaliser when the scoreline stood at 2-1.
FULL TIME! Napoli head into the next round of the Europa League to face either Eintracht Frankfurt or Porto, after dispatching of plucky Swansea 3-1 at Stadio San Paolo. The visitors pushed them all of the way, but the quality in Benitez's squad was enough to edge the Partenopei towards success.
90' + 3'
Assist Marek Hamsik
90' + 3'
Goal Gökhan Inler
GOOOOOOAL! INLER WRAPS UP THE WIN FOR NAPOLI! Swansea's players were all pressed upfield, leaving Davies and Chico to deal with three attacks. Inler is found at the back post unmarked, and the Swiss midfielder slides the ball under Vorm to score the hosts' third.
90' + 2'
BONY! It's acrobatic from the former Vitesse man, who bounces a volley towards the near post, but Reina is able to claim it! The visitors are piling men forward, there are plenty of white shirts in the opposition penalty area.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Neil Taylor
90' + 1'
There are THREE minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half, and Swansea still have time to look for their second goal. Ghoulam fires terribly wide from a free-kick.
FANTASTIC BLOCK FROM DAVIES! Higuain and Hamsik both break against the Welsh youngster who is on his own, and the Slovakian midfielder squares the ball to his teammate, who rockets a near post shot straight into the recovering Davies!
A few minutes are left on the clock, and Monk's men continue to press forward relentlessly. Napoli are on the ropes here, as the Premier League outfit press forward with real intention. If the hosts can win back the ball, there will definitely be chances to break.
WHAT A SAVE FROM PEPE REINA! Tiendalli rises brilliantly to meet a free-kick delivery, but the former Liverpool goalkeeper launches himself acrobatically to turn the Dutchman's header over the crossbar from close-range!
BONY! Dyer is able to clip a ball into the six yard box from the byeline, and Bony tries to meet it! Reina rushes off his line to palm the ball away, and Napoli are being forced back into their own penalty area. Swansea are looking for a way back into the tie!
Yellow Card Gökhan Inler
Five minutes remaining, and Swansea are desperately trying to press forward. Benitez makes a negative change, replacing Callejon with Britos, and the central defender will be vital in the hosts clearing their lines in the final minutes.
Miguel Angel Britos
MERTENS! The substitute drives down the right yet again, before beating Davies and firing a low drive across the face of goal! It doesn't take a deflection off anyone as it zips out of play, and all that needed was a yellow shirt on the back post to touch it home!
Jonathan De Guzmán
The Swans need to find another goal from somewhere, and Monk opts to throw on the technically gifted Spaniard Pozuelo. He's been sharp in the Europa League, and has the guile to find pockets of space, but it's a big ask for the summer signing to make a big impact on such a stage.
As we head into the final ten minutes, Swansea need a goal from somewhere to progress, the pressure really is on now! The home crowd are in much better voice following the goal, with tensions relieved, and the away side are trying to push forward with slightly more urgency.
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
GOOOOOOAL! HIGUAIN BLASTS THE HOSTS BACK INTO THE LEAD! That could be the decisive goal! Incredibly cruel for Swansea, as they've been undone by a lucky deflection! Mertens made the cross, before Chico's clearance deflects off Davies, with the rebound falling to Higuain. He smashes it home! GON-ZA-LO, HIGUAIN!
Important interception from Williams! Mertens provides two dangerous crosses in the space of ten seconds, with Williams half-clearing the first, before Tiendalli is present to head the second delivery away from danger at the back post moments later.
Monk continues to be very animated on the touchline, as the ebb and flow of the game makes it very hard to predict who will be the next scorer. Bony continues to work hard at the front of Swansea's attack, winning any flick-ons and just generally being a nuisance.
The side who progresses from this fixture tonight, will face either Eintracht Frankfurt or Porto in the next round, with those two sides locked in fierce action currently. With the scoreline at 2-2, which was also the end result in the first leg, it's hard to separate those two outfits too, it seems.
Napoli begin to get back on top, as many would have predicted, as their substitutes look to have an impact on proceedings. The home side look composed, and their fans are responding. As it stands, Swansea would progress on away goals, meaning that the Welsh side could attempt to merely weather the storm for the remaining minutes.
With twenty minutes remaining, Monk opts to give Emnes a rest, throwing on left-back Neil Taylor on the left hand side of midfield. Given the fact that the hosts could really push on in the late stages, this could help solidify Swansea's flank, though both Taylor and Davies can contribute offensively too.
INLER! The Swiss midfielder tries his luck from 25 yards, but cannons the ball into the head of Chico, who almost looks for a second as though he'd need some treatment. That was some strike, and the Spanish defender looks fairly groggy after that blow to the face.
BONY! WHAT A CHANCE FOR SWANSEA! The away side break well, with Emnes releasing Hernandez, before the Spaniard directs a wonderfully weighted cross into the path of the onrushing Bony! The Ivory Coast striker meets it with his head, but can only turn the ball directly into Reina's grasp! What an opportunity!
Mertens will be the next man to enter the field of play, with the bright Belgian enjoying a great season for Napoli. He'll cause the Swansea defence plenty of problems, and will be presumably deployed down the left hand side. Napoli's quality could really shine through in the late stages. Insigne cuts into the box wonderfully, before his near post strike is blocked by Chico.
PABLO HERNANDEZ! The Spanish winger does excellently on the left hand side, stepping beyond Henrique with ease, before cannoning an effort straight at Albiol! If it wasn't for the former Real Madrid central defender, Napoli could easily be behind tonight.
Dyer replaces Routledge, to give Swansea some fresh legs on the flank. Both can act as good outlets should the visitors need to weather a second-half storm, and it's certainly not a negative switch from Garry Monk. Napoli still boast the likes of Mertens and Dzemaili on the sidelines.
Half an hour remaining, and this game is balanced on a knife edge. It's tough to see which way the momentum will swing, as both sides have enjoyed some good chances in the first half, and both have struggled to create any openings in the second. Substitutions could act as turning points tonight.
Swansea want a penalty! Tiendalli goes down in the penalty area, claiming a trip, and the Dutch full-back is convinced he's been brought down! The extra official behind the goal stares on without emotion, but the Swansea man might have exaggerated Ghoulam's contact.
Napoli are creeping back into the frame, as Swansea have failed to create any kind of opportunities in the last five minutes. The away side can retain more possession, but for the most part are engineering crossing chances that are fired in towards an isolated Bony. Hamsik readies himself to enter the fray.
Gorgeous piece of skill by De Guzman, who hooks the ball over Inler with a delightful little touch. Swansea are forced into two clearances in quick succession, with Williams looking long for Bony. Whenever Napoli's full-backs are permitted to press on, the visitors look a little shaky.
Yellow Card Chico
DE GUZMAN! The Netherlands international whips in a corner, which is cleared at the near post, before thrashing a first time effort towards goal after receiving the rebound. Reina is able to claim well, before Napoli break upfield. Chico is penalised for handball, and is promptly booked.
Bony is looking rather isolated, against both of Napoli's central defenders, but the striker definitely has the physical skill set to handle himself. Hernandez drives into the penalty area, trying to hook a cross back from the byeline, but the ball avoids Bony. Swansea are on top!
Ghoulam tries an ambitious effort from 30 yards, looking to dip the ball into the six yard box, but gets his free-kick delivery all wrong. It floats almost into orbit, with the Partenopei's faithful getting rather restless with their side's performance. Hamsik continues to warm up on the sidelines.
DE GUZMAN! The Dutchman wins possession in the centre of midfield, before driving forward 20 yards with the ball. Instead of releasing Emnes down the right, he takes on a shot, but fires directly at Reina. Poor effort.
A quiet start, as both sets of fans slowly work themselves back into good voice. The visitors are stroking the ball around excellently, with Napoli resigned themselves to trying to break quickly whenever they manage to rob possession. This has been an impressive performance from the Swans.
Yellow Card José Cañas
Swansea start the second half positively, with a Routledge cross being well denied by a Albiol header. Callejon then tries to break down the right hand side, but the Spaniard is felled by his compatriot Canas, somewhat cynically.
We are back underway for the second half action! Swansea have held their own against the Partenopei, and have a good chance of progressing tonight. Bony and Higuain have been the main men, and both players could have a huge impact on the result of this fixture!
Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes for all of the second half's occurrences, as Swansea look to record a famous result in Naples, to propel them into the next round of the Europa League. A tight affair that promises important action in the second half, you wouldn't want to miss this!
Plenty of chances have materialised for either side, with Higuain and Bony leading the line brilliantly for their respective sides. Reina has been the busier of the two goalkeeper, with Swansea also moving the ball slightly better, but this game certainly isn't beyond Napoli's quality, especially with the resources Benitez has on the bench.
HALF TIME! The referee calls time on an enthralling first half, as the score at the break is Napoli 1-1 Swansea. As things stand, the away side would progress into the next round, courtesy of an equalising goal from Jonathan de Guzman, after a delicate chip from Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring.
HIGUAIN! The Argentine attempts to pivot and strike towards goal from narrowly inside the Swansea box, but the marking was tight enough to deny the striker. Inler picks up the ball in the midfield third, before driving forward and blasting an effort well wide.
The half time break is rapidly approaching, with a very tight contest being played out at Stadio San Paolo. Both sides have had their fair share of chances, but it has been Swansea who have moved the ball more dangerously in the opening 45 minutes.
BONY! Another half chance for Swansea's lone striker! He receives the ball whilst already bending his run to burst beyond Henrique, choosing to strike the through ball first time. It dips wide of the near post, the home supporters are a little nervous at this point.
BONY! The Ivorian pushes into the penalty area from the left hand side, before Henrique slips ahead of him! Bony drives into the box, firing a low drive towards the far post, but Reina claims excellently. Swansea continue to look good value.
Swansea are moving the ball brilliantly, not being rushed into decisions, and remaining reluctant to hoof the ball upfield. Hernandez does brilliantly well to turn his former teammate Albiol, but the former Valencia defender hauls him back by his shirt, picking up a yellow for his trouble.
BEHRAMI! The Swiss midfielder tries his luck from 30 yards, but gets it all wrong, resulting in him looking rather embarrassed with his efforts. He balloons over the crossbar, so much so that the ball goes beyond the running track surrounding the playing field.
Excellent play from Bony! The Ivorian pivots after receiving the ball to feet, before playing a perfectly weighted ball in behind Albiol and Maggio in search of Routledge. The Englishman races through on goal, but Reina is very quick off his line to slide in and dispossess the Swansea winger!
The home supporters continue to boo and jeer, as Swansea settle back into their tempo and rhythm once again. They've not looked unsettled by Napoli's high pressing, and Monk will be extremely pleased with the football his side have played. Despite being the underdogs, the Swans have given a good account of themselves.
HERNANDEZ! The Spaniard forces Reina into an easy save, after receiving a flick-on from Bony! The former Vitesse striker is causing all sorts of issues, but Hernandez could only fire his right-footed strike too close to the waiting Reina.
With under a quarter of an hour to play, Swansea are in an excellent position. That away goal means that as it stands, the Welsh side will progress beyond Napoli into the next round. That's no less than the Premier League outfit deserve, they've matched Benitez's side in the opening half an hour.
Assist Wilfried Bony
Goal Jonathan De Guzmán
GOOOOOOAL! DE GUZMAN NETS THE EQUALISER, IT'S 1-1! An away goal at Stadio San Paolo for the visitors! The Dutchman is played through on goal, bursting beyond Bony, before narrowly slotting the ball past Reina! Game on!
Bony is offering a stern test for the Napoli defence, with the Ivory Coast international's physical being a real issue for the likes of Albiol and Henrique. His strong frame has lead to opposition players bouncing off him, and the hosts will certainly have to keep constant tabs on Swansea's top goalscorer.
OFFSIDE! Bony races towards the edge of the 18-yard box, meeting a crossfield ball with his head, beating Albiol to it! It flashes wide of the target, but the linesman has his flag up for offside - that was a tight call.
INSIGNE! The Napoli goalscorer isn't afraid to have a go, and fires narrowly wide of Vorm's right hand post, with the Dutchman having his angles covered. After a cautious start, the Serie A outfit are looking much more comfortable now, as the scoreline would suggest.
BONY! A good back post cross from Routledge is half-cleared by a stooping header from Henrique, with the loose ball looping in Bony's direction. The former Vitesse man tries a spectacular overhead kick, but doesn't get the contact he desired, disappointing from the Ivorian.
Neat stuff from Swansea moving forward yet again, with Pablo Hernandez looking particularly dangerous when cutting in from the right hand side. Emnes initially beats Ghoulam with a change of pace, but the Algerian recovers to put the cross behind for a corner. The set piece results in nothing.
Garry Monk will still be happy with his side's start to the game, but nerves are just starting to creep in slightly. Canas and De Guzman are struggling to deal with Pandev in the hole, and the likes of Tiendalli and Williams are already being called into question. The home crowd are appeased for now.
HIGUAIN! The Argentine curls a good effort narrowly wide of the bottom right corner, with Vorm at full stretch. The Swansea defence are in all sorts of problems, with Higuain popping up all over the field. Chico has been left exposed on several occasions, and the visitors look unsettled.
Brilliant defending from Davies! Higuain is nearly found by a good cutback from Pandev, but the young Welsh left-back is able to slide in to turn the intended pass behind for a corner. The set piece is swung in, but Swansea manage to clear, with Routledge hooking away the danger.
DE GUZMAN! Swansea respond well to going behind, putting together a nice move. Emnes moves down the right, before driving a low cross into Bony, who sets the ball back to the edge of the box for the Dutchman. He hits it first time, but it's straight at Reina!
Assist Gonzalo Higuaín
Goal Lorenzo Insigne
GOOOOOAL! INSIGNE GIVES THE HOME SIDE THE LEAD! Tiendalli and Williams are arguing, with nobody looking towards the linesman, whose flag is at his side. The local lad lifts the ball over Vorm with a delicious chip, and the home side have the lead! Tiendalli leaves Insigne free to go through on goal, despite Ben Davies playing the Italian onside.
HIGUAIN! WHAT A CHANCE! Pandev does brilliantly, holding the ball up excellently, before slipping the ball into the Argentine international who is in acres of space! The former Real Madrid man opens his body up, looking to stroke the ball into the far corner from eight yards, but skews his shot over the bar!
OFFSIDE! Swansea move the ball nicely, with some nice, tight triangles, before De Guzman is found in an offside position in the penalty area. The visitors have moved the ball well so far, managing to deal with Napoli's organised pressing, and Benitez may be forced into a plan B.
Monk will be more than pleased with his side's start to proceedings, as they have managed to settle on the ball and also carve out an excellent chance for Emnes. Pandev looks to slot Insigne through on goal, but Williams steps out well to make the interception. Both goalkeepers remain untroubled.
OFF THE LINE! Albiol to the rescue again! Swansea break through Hernandez, before the Spaniard plays a pass in behind Ghoulam for Emnes to chase. The Dutchman lifts the ball over the onrushing Reina, but Albiol is able to hoof the effort off the line! Unlucky for the away side!
Excellent defending from Albiol! Routledge plays an excellent ball over the Napoli defence for Pablo Hernandez to chase, but his compatriot is alert to the danger, covering well and plucking the through ball out of the sky with ease. That was assured stuff from the former Real Madrid defender, who previously played with Hernandez at Valencia.
The home crowd are restless, as Swansea continue to stroke the ball around, unfazed by Napoli's early pressing. Pandev and Higuain are both trying to press up on the visiting backline, but thus far the Welsh side have held their nerve under pressure. A composed start from the Premier League outfit.
Henrique and Albiol both have chances in quick succession from Insigne's free-kick, with Swansea's set piece defending looking a little bit slack. Both defenders were afforded too much space, but Monk will be glad to see the Spaniard's looping header head out of play for a goal-kick.
Good covering from Chico! Higuain is fed in behind Swansea's lines, but the Spaniard is on hand to defuse the situation, outmuscling the former Real Madrid striker and winning the ball back for the visitors.
INSIGNE! The local lad arrows an effort towards goal from 25 yards, after a lovely turn past Canas, but Vorm is happy to watch the ball zip over the crossbar. The home fans are already whistling whenever Monk's side enjoy extended possession.
HIGUAIN! The Argentina international tries his luck from outside the box, but Swansea captain Williams is on hand to make the block. This has been a cagey start to proceedings, with Pandev definitely playing in a reserved role behind Higuain - the Macedonian might just be able to find that elusive final ball.
Last time out, Napoli drew to Genoa, a team which Swansea defender Chico plied his trade at between 2010 and 2012. The opening stages have seen plenty of Swansea possession, with Ghoulam penalised for a clear trip on Marvin Emnes early on.
Swansea are in their white home kit tonight, with Napoli in their yellow away kit, unfortunately we won't be seeing their rather zany camouflage number. The atmosphere is excellent in Stadio San Paolo, and although it isn't at full capacity, the visiting side will enjoy playing in such an arena.
We are underway in the first half! Swansea are the underdogs, playing in a stadium which can provide quite an atmosphere. Napoli are doing excellently in Serie A, and have given good showings in both the Champions League and Europa League, meaning that their home supporters will be expecting a comfortable win this evening.
We are a quarter of an hour from kick-off, so be sure to stick with us for all of the action from Naples, as Swansea attempt to navigate their way past a tough Napoli outfit tonight. The hosts are firm favourites, despite the previous goalless draw in Wales, and we should have an enthralling encounter on our hands, given the unpredictability of Swansea in European competiton this season.
After Michael Laudrup's sacking in early February, the Welsh side have been managing just fine under Garry Monk, who is technically still a player at the club. His adversary, the reputable Rafa Benitez, won't be underestimating the visitors tonight. With a raft of accolades in a long career, it is a case of polar opposites in each dugout, with the Spaniard being one of five coaches still left in the Europa League to have won the competition previously.
Napoli were eliminated from the Champions League despite picking up 12 points in Group F, the highest total for any third-placed side in the competition this season. Contrast that with Zenit progressing with merely six points, and it's possible to get an idea of how much quality the Partenopei truly possess. Higuain, Insigne and Callejon, but to name a few, are all capable of providing moments of magic.
After back-to-back wins in their opening two Europa League group matches, Swansea haven't managed a win in their previous five European outings - drawing three and losing two. The visitors have won merely one of their last five games in all competitions, while Napoli are unbeaten in the same period. Benitez's side sit in third place in Serie A, playing some lovely football complimented by plenty of quality players. If Swansea can get a result here tonight, it will be one of the best games in their history.
Swansea substitutes: Amat, Taylor, Dyer, Rangel, Pozuelo, Tremmel, N'Gog.
Swansea starting line-up: Vorm; Tiendalli, Williams, Chico, Davies; Canas, De Guzman; Routledge, Emnes, Hernandez; Bony.
Napoli substitutes: Reveillere, Britos, Mertens, Hamsik, Dzemaili, Zapata, Colombo.
Napoli starting line-up: Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Henrique, Ghoulam; Inler, Behrami; Callejon, Pandev, Insigne; Higuain.
TEAM NEWS: Dwight Tiendalli is preferred at right-back to Angel Rangel, with Ben Davies replacing Neil Taylor once again at left-back. Canas and De Guzman are charged with protecting the defence, with Marvin Emnes starting behind top scorer Wilfried Bony. David N'Gog, who previously played under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, is among the substitutes for the away side.
TEAM NEWS: Ghoulam slots back in at left-back for the home side, with Pepe Reina back in goal after an injury to Rafael. Henrique partners Albiol at the heart of the defence, with Valon Behrami now firmly installed back into the side in defensive midfield. Captain Marek Hamsik is on the bench, with Goran Pandev starting in behind Gonzalo Higuain, and Lorenzo Insigne gets a start down the left flank,
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be leading you through all of the action from Naples, as the hosts try to progress beyond the round of 32 for the first time since group stages were introduced into the Europa League. Previously, they have been knocked out by Villarreal and Viktoria Plzen, with tonight's aggregrate scoreline providing a great opportunity for the Partenopei to extend their European campaign beyond this evening.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of tonight's Europa League clash between Napoli and Swansea City, as the Premier League side look to cause at shock at Stadio San Paolo. The first leg ended in a 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium, meaning that the visitors will be arriving in Italy with a quiet optimism that they can manage a good performance - while hoping for a result to match.
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