Napoli paid the price for wasting numerous chances and some goalkeeping howlers, as Tim Matavz bagged a hat-trick for PSV Eindhoven’s 3-1 win at the San Paolo. This is their first home defeat in UEFA club competition since December 1994, ending a 14-match run.
The Partenopei were already qualified in second place behind Dnipro, while PSV were out, so the result of this fixture would make little difference. Napoli were out for revenge after their 3-0 hammering in Eindhoven two months ago, giving Edinson Cavani a surprise Europa League start with support from Eduardo Vargas and Omar El Kaddouri. Brazilian defender Bruno Uvini received his debut.
Uvini nodded a corner just wide, but it was that man Cavani who scored his seventh Europa League goal of the season to break the deadlock. Marco Donadel robbed Peter Van Ooijen in midfield and sent Cavani through, the Uruguayan turning to beat the goalkeeper.
Goalkeeper Antonio Rosati was rooted to the spot, but glad to see the Memphis Depay free kick curl wide of the upright.
PSV equalised on the half-hour mark at the end of a chaotic move. Georginio Wijnaldum hit the post, then Van Ooijen’s follow-up was beaten away by Rosati before Tim Matavz got the final tap-in.
Cavani fired over from a great Gokhan Inler long pass, then El Kaddouri had two successive efforts charged down.
Inler threaded through to send Vargas clear, but the Chilean narrowed the angle too much and allowed Boy Waterman to parry for a corner.
PSV turned the game around before half-time, as Matavz struck for the second time in 11 minutes. Rosati once again spilled a Jeremain Lens right-foot strike on to the feet of Slovenian striker Matavz.
It should’ve been 2-2 in the last minute of the first half, but Dossena combined with El Kaddouri and saw one shot saved by the goalkeeper, then the follow-up turned off target.
Napoli came out fighting for the second period, as after 10 seconds Cavani’s shot was deflected out, then the goalkeeper caught his attempted back-heel flick from a corner.
Rosati did well to palm Depay’s effort off target after Uvini had been beaten, while the second choice goalkeeper was called upon again to deny Wijnaldum’s long-range screamer with his trailing hand.
Cavani had penalty appeals waved away, while Vargas and Christian Maggio wasted chances. Goran Pandev made his comeback from injury. Maggio went clear on goal from an El Kaddouri through ball, but fired straight at the goalkeeper in a one-on-one.
It proved costly, as moments later PSV went 3-1 up on the counter-attack. Depay got past Uvini again and set up Matavz for a finish at the near post to complete his hat-trick.
Napoli gave 18-year-old Roberto Insigne his senior debut in place of Cavani. He is the younger brother of current star Lorenzo Insigne, one of four professional footballer siblings, and as been very impressive in the Primavera youth team. He made an immediate impact, trapping a ball and shooting wide with his left foot three minutes after coming on.
Insigne ran on to a Pandev back-heel to test the goalkeeper, but had been flagged offside. Napoli continued to waste chances with wild abandon, as Pandev’s free kick skimmed the upright, El Kaddouri ballooned over when clear on goal and the Macedonian hit it straight at the goalkeeper in a one-on-one.
Napoli 1-3 PSV
Scorers: Cavani 18 (N), Matavz 30, 41, 60 (P)
Napoli: Rosati; Campagnaro, Fernandez, Uvini; Dossena, Donadel, Inler (Pandev 57), Maggio (Mesto 69); Vargas, El Kaddouri; Cavani (R Insigne 66)
PSV Eindhoven: Waterman; Manolev, Jorgensen, Marcelo, Bouma; Van Ooijen (Brenet 87), Engelaar; Lens, Wijnaldum, Depay; Matavz
Ref: Dean (ENG)
Betting on Serie A? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more