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UEFA Europa League
February 20, 2014
• Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Referee: I. Bebek
• Attendance: 19567
FULL-TIME! Napoli leave south Wales with a fairly fortuitous 0-0 draw. Swansea will feel they have really missed chance to gain a first-leg lead here. They wasted several good opportunities, but in fairness to them, both Rafael and Reina were in good form between the posts. They will have a tough task getting a result at Napoli, but their performance today will certainly provide them with optimism.
90' + 4'
Good play by Routledge on the right as he evades two opponents and then squeezes a cross into the area, but Reina collects and the referee blows his whistle to end the match.
90' + 3'
Not long left now for the hosts. They seem to have run out of ideas, but perhaps they can get one final opportunity.
90' + 1'
The officials have announced there will be at least four minutes of added time.
Swansea nearly work a good opening as Shelvey skips past a couple of tackles on the edge of the area and then lays the ball off to Bony, but the Ivorian's first touch is poor and Napoli get men back to crowd Swansea out.
Napoli are holding firm at the moment, but this is all Swansea at the moment. The visitors already look to have settled for a point, but Monk's side are desperate for a late winner. Will this leave them open at the back?
Callejon tries to dazzle Davies with a few stepovers on the right, but the Welsh left-back watches the ball and does well to deny passage to the Spaniard. The 20-year-old as enjoyed another impressive outing.
Yellow Card Jonathan De Guzmán
Was that the chance? Swansea go close again as De Guzman's free-kick from deep is headed straight at Reina from an excellent position. Will they get a better chance than that? Doubtful.
Well, they weren't too far away from doing so there! Bony causes problems in the penalty area again and he manages to get a header away, which goes agonisingly wide.
We have less than 10 minutes left of this first leg in Swansea. Can Swansea steal a late goal to take a lead into their second leg at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples?
Dyer appears to be unable to continue and he is replaced by Marvin Emnes, a January arrival from Middlesbrough. This is his European debut.
Good stop from Reina! Shelvey shows good awareness to pick out Routledge to his left and the winger shifts his body to enable a curled effort with his right foot, but Reina punches the shot away extravagently.
Encouraging attack for Swansea as De Guzman skips past Revelliere down the right. He plays a cross into the centre, but Bony can't quite reach it. An Henrique header sees the ball loop back up into the air and Reina collects.
The taking of the free-kick is delayed as Hamsik is booked for failing to retreat after the referee told the wall to move back. De Guzman eventually steps up, but his effort goes well over.
Yellow Card Marek Hamsik
Yellow Card Christian Maggio
Good play by Routledge as he cuts in from the left and draws a foul from Maggio. The Italy international wing-back goes into the referee's book as well, with De Guzman set to take the free-kick just outside Napoli's area.
Proceedings are starting to settle down a little now and this could be particularly dangerous for Swansea. Napoli are getting more comfortable on the ball and that can only be a bad thing for the hosts.
Big Swansea chance! De Guzman whips a teasing ball into the area from a free-kick on the left wing and Williams meets it with a powerful header, but Reina palms it over. Important stop.
Delightful footwork by Routledge on the left. He races away from Maggio, who slightly catches him, but the referee ignores the winger's claims. Swansea look like they are starting to get a little frustrated.
Napoli are seemingly starting to liven up. Hamsik is involved again through the centre and he passes to Callejon on the edge of the area. The former Real Madrid man pokes a shot towards goal, but it goes well wide.
Hamsik finally gets himself involved again in attack. He feeds Callejon to his right and continues his run into the penalty area. The Spaniard plays his captain into the area, but Swansea's own skipper is alert to the danger as Williams blocks Hamsik's cross and then clears.
The free-kick is delivered from the right flank, but Napoli are quick to clear it away from the defensive third, but they don't look particularly interested in starting a counterattack. Their lack of urgency is surprising.
Yellow Card Lorenzo Insigne
The referee is starting to get a little picky. Insigne goes into the book for not standing far enough away from the ball as Swansea line up a free-kick.
Rangel is the latest Swansea player to try his luck, but his effort from distances is comically bad and it flies well wide of Reina's left-hand post. No wonder he doesn't score many!
And that was Hernandez's final involvement. The attacker has enjoyed a marvellous display and Jonathan De Guzman replaces him for the final 24 minutes or so.
Yellow Card Pablo Hernández
Jonathan De Guzmán
Hernandez catches Hamsik with a late tackle and - harshly - earns himself a yellow card. The Spaniard is clearly not happy about it and almost talks himself into a second booking in a minute.
Lovely feet from Hernandez as he comes in from the left, jinks past two defenders in the area and shapes to shoot. His eventual shot is blocked, however, and Napoli escape with possession. Surely Swansea will capitalise on one of these openings?
Rafa Benitez's men find themselves penned in at the back. Dzmaili attempts a clearance, but it lands straight at the feet of Chico in an advanced position. He shoots from distance and although it is going well wide, it almost comes to Bony in the area, but it is slightly behind him.
Napoli appear to have woken up a little at the start of this second half, but they must ensure that the second period does not follow a similar pattern to the first. They will have to maintain this start.
Big chance missed for Napoli! Hamsik clips an excellent pass into the penalty area for Higuain and the Argentine volleys well over from a wonderful position. Massive let-off for the hosts.
Higuain nearly gets an opening as he looks to latch on to a lofted through-ball, but Vorm covers well and pokes the ball out of play for a throw-in.
Good play by Bony as he outmuscles Henrique and then slips a pass to his right for Hernandez. The Spaniard shoots while stretching and his effort is deflected up into the air before Reina collects with ease.
One change was made at half-time as on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina replaces Rafael, who had a decent first half, but ultimately picked up an injury late on.
Here we go for the second half.
HALF-TIME! The referee blows his whistle to end the first half and Swansea take a commendable 0-0 score into the break. Napoli began the match excellently and created several good chances, but Swansea eventually grew into the encounter and soon found themselves in the ascendancy. Goalkeeper Rafael has denied the hosts countless times, but will Swansea rue these missed chances? Find out after the break.
45' + 1'
The Brazilian goalkeeper is done clutching his knee and play continues. Meanwhile, the officials have announced that there will be at least two minutes of stoppage time.
Rafael decisively punches the following corner away, but Napoli's counterattack is bizarrely cut short as the referee halts play for an injury to Rafael.
Monk's side make good use of another corner. This one is played short again and subsequently worked towards the back post. Rangel pops up out of the blue and gets a good header away, but Rafael palms it over.
Swansea have been truly outstanding thus far and they force Rafael into another good save. This time Routledge opts to go it alone, rather than supply a team-mate. He cuts inside on to his right foot and the goalkeeper tips his shot over the bar.
Although Swansea's initial corner only results in another, the second almost bears fruit. Routledge and Hernandez create space with a clever one-two and the Spaniard crosses to the far post. Williams arrives and gets good contact with the ball, but he inexcusably heads well over.
Revelliere chases down a loose pass from Rangel, but he has to deal with it as Dyer puts him under intense pressure. The Frenchman panics and knocks it out for a corner.
More positive attacking play by Swansea. Routledge smashes a dangerous ball into the area from the left. Rafael gets low to punch it away, but only as far as the edge of the area. Routledge gets the ball again and tees up Canas, who hits a half-volley just over.
Good hold-up play by Dyer just inside his own half. Napoli were pressing from the front and the winger does well to use his strength keep the hosts in possession. Eventually he wins a free-kick to relieve the pressure.
Swansea cause problems again down the left. Routledge drops both shoulders, one after the other, and then cuts inside to cross. Dyer almost connects, but Napoli get themselves a goal kick.
Bony goes close again! The ball is worked into the Napoli area with a cross and the Ivorian forward meets the delivery with a header, but Rafael is alive to the danger, catching with ease.
While this has been an entertaining fixture so far, the standard of set-pieces has been pretty dreadful. This latest effort from Napoli sees Hamsik hammer his corner delivery virtually straight over the Swansea penalty area. The home side are quick to win possession back, unsurprisingly.
Not for the first time, Jose Canas gives the ball away in a particularly dangerous area. The midfielder passes back towards Rangel, but Insigne sticks a foot in to intercept. A cross is curled to the back post, but Davies nods behind safely.
The hosts seem to be perfectly confident in this match. They are knocking the ball around with admirable composure and Napoli are struggling to put them under enough pressure.
Swansea must have some kind of strategy in mind with their corners because they send another straight to the near post. As with the previous incident, nothing comes of it and it may have just gone straight out of play for a goal kick.
Rafael is now receiving to medical assistance after seemingly taking Bony shot in the face. He will be fine to continue, however, as Swansea prepare to take a corner.
Massive opportunity for Swansea! Hernandez is being given way too much space and he provides a deadly pass yet again, picking out Bony's run towards the penalty area. However, after a taking a touch and attempting to round the goalkeeper, Bony hits a shot straight at him and must settle for a corner.
Higuain is clearly unhappy with the referee. The former Real Madrid man appeared to be caught off the ball by Angel Rangel, yet the referee ignored his initial protests. The player is then very lucky not to talk his way into the book as he seeks medical attention.
Insigne and Hamsik have been - generally - very quiet so far. Swansea are doing a good job of getting bodies forward into attack, they are proving equally adept and crowding their visitors out at the back.
Great chance for Swansea! The tricky Dyer breezes past the left-back and produces a decent cross in towards Bony, but the delivery is a little too high for the Ivorian. That would have been a certain goal otherwise.
After their brilliant start, Napoli have become alarmingly static in the final third. Swansea look well-drilled so far, but Jose Canas is making a habit of losing the ball.
Hernandez has enjoyed a very promising opening to the match. The former Valencia man comes deep on this occasion and drives a low pass inbetween the left-back and centre-back for Dyer. It was an excellent idead, but it is slightly overhit.
After a nervous start, Swansea have undoutedly grown into this and they are showing plenty of positive attacking play now, as shown with their last three shots. Can they keep Napoli's attacking players quiet, though? That is the real task.
Bony with another effort! Again, Swansea produce a clever, intricate move in the attacking third. Hernandez passes forward to Dyer, whose first touch is a lay-off for Bony and he drives a powerful strike not far off the target.
Wilfried Bony is the latest to try his luck. Hernandez is involved again as he plays the forward in towards the edge of the visitors' area. He takes a touch and shoots low, but he narrowly misses the target.
The Swansea corner is delivered towards a crowd of players at the front post, but unfortunately for the hosts, the ball is played off one of their men and out for a goal kick.
What a chance for Swansea! Pablo Hernandez comes across to the right flank and, after taking his time, he cuts a pass back and into the area for Dyer. The winger hits a curling effort first-time, but Rafael tips it around the post. Brilliant save, but Swansea now have a corner.
The Napoli corner gets to Higuain, but the Argentine sees his volleyed effort go well wide, and it almost hits the corner flag. The visitors have started this match very well.
Swansea are doing well to press high, but Napoli look irresistible on the ball. They break away from the back like lightning and Callejon surges down the right after being released by Higuain. The attacking midfielder cuts the ball across the pitch to Hamsik and their captain forces Vorm into a good stop from the edge of the area.
And there is the match's first chance. Inler does well to find Callejon just inside the right part of Swansea's penalty area, but the Spaniard's low shot goes wide of the bottom-left corner.
Good searching pass from the back by Ashley Williams. The centre-back picks out Wayne Routledge on the left flanka and although he does keep the ball in play, Henrique covers well and clears.
Off we go. Swansea start the action.
The teams are now in the tunnel at the Liberty Stadium. What a big night this could be for Swansea. Kick-off is just a few moments away in south Wales.
Swansea, meanwhile, progressed through to the second round of the Europa League after finishing second behind Valencia in Group A and they have been made to pay for losing their final two games of the group stage, with the odds strongly in Napoli's favour.
The Italian side find themselves in the Europa League after finishing third behind Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but they will feel unlucky to have missed out as all three sides ended up accumulating 12 points. Napoli, however, crashed out due to an inferior head-to-head record against their rivals.
Napoli have lost only one of their last 11 matches in Serie A, while their opponents have managed just two wins from the same number of Premier League fixtures.
This game sees Garry Monk take charge of his first European match as a coach, while his counterpart has won this very competition twice before - once with Valencia and more recently with Chelsea. He also has a Champions League winner's medal gathering dust somewhere. Talk about a 'baptism of fire' for Monk.
And the Napoli subs: Reina, Mertens, Pandev, Ghoulam, Albiol, Behrami, Zapata.
The Napoli starting XI is: Cabral; Maggio, Henrique, Britos, Reveillere; Dzemaili, Inler; Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain.
And the Swansea subs: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Shelvey, de Guzman, Emnes, Ngog.
First of all, the teams; Swansea's starting line-up is: Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, Canas; Hernandez, Routledge, Dyer; Bony.
Good evening and welcome to the live text commentary of the UEFA Europa League second round first leg between Swansea City and Napoli. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be describing the action for you today.
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