NEWS
Tuesday September 26 2017
CL: Napoli flatten Feyenoord

Napoli swept Feyenoord aside 3-1 to get off the Champions League mark with Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon, but Pepe Reina saved a penalty.

Manchester City are top of the group, beating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 after Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick was saved.

See how it all unfolded plus post-match comments on the Liveblog.

The Partenopei needed a victory after a surprise opening defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk, but boasted a 100 per cent Serie A record after six rounds. There was a dedication before the game to Arkadiusz Milik, who is out for four to five months with another torn ACL just a year after he hurt the other knee. Raul Albiol had back problems and Vlad Chiriches was not fully fit, so Nikola Maksimovic got his Champions League debut.

Feyenoord had lost three of their last four games and had an injury crisis, missing Eric Botteghin, Nicolai Jorgensen, Kenneth Vermeer and Michial Kramer. There was another setback in the warm-up, as Jan Arie van der Heijden pulled out, to be replaced by Renato Tapia. The late introduction was given an immediate test after three minutes, robbed by Dries Mertens, who went down in the box with no penalty given for their shoulder-to-shoulder challenge.

The deadlock was broken moments later, as Insigne caught defenders in possession and surged forward, drilling into the near bottom corner from the edge of the box. He tried to celebrate by waving Milik’s jersey, but fellow Pole Piotr Zielinski handed him his shirt as a joke.

It was all Napoli early doors, Insigne breaking the offside trap to roll an assist just beyond Marek Hamsik, Mertens doing the same with Allan and Hamsik also having penalty appeals as he scuffed wide while sandwiched between defenders.

However, after 15 minutes, the hosts started to drop off the pace and allow Feyenoord more possession, so the confidence grew with it.

Brad Jones was very alert to rush off his line and claim a low Insigne pass as Jose Callejon came sliding in, just unable to get the final touch. Moments later, the goalkeeper risked a howler on a poor back-pass under pressure from Hamsik and Mertens.

Insigne cut in from the left for a curler that Jones beat away meekly, but nobody was ready to tap in the rebound, then contributed with a wonderful passing move, but Feyenoord scrambled it away to stop Callejon and then Mertens getting the final touch.

Mertens set up Hamsik rushing down the left, but his angled drive was well wide and across the face of goal. On the stroke of half-time, Insigne volleyed a Jorginho ball over the top and couldn’t keep it down.

Straight after the restart, Mertens was gifted a chance on a terrible Kevin Diks back-pass and wasn’t going to miss from just inside the area, doubling Napoli’s lead.

Pepe Reina had his first genuine saves to make after 53 minutes, smothering shots from the edge of the box by both Steven Berghuis and Karim El Ahmadi.

Mertens pounced on another error, but this time his lob was just over, but the Scottish referee awarded a soft penalty to Feyenoord as Berghuis fell over slight contact from Faouzi Ghoulam. However, Jens Toornstra saw his weak and central spot-kick parried by Reina.

It proved very costly indeed, as within a couple of minutes it was 3-0. Jorginho robbed Tapia and immediately threaded through for Callejon’s strike from a tight angle.

Reina needed another reaction save with his legs on Berghuis, but the game was won. There was still time with the last kick of the game for Koulibaly and Maksimovic to have no communication, allowing Amrabat to bundle his way through for a consolation goal.

Napoli 3-1 Feyenoord

Insigne 7 (N), Mertens 47 (N), Callejon 71 (N), Amrabat 93 (F)

Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho (Diawara 80), Hamsik (Zielinski 70); Callejon (Rog 74), Mertens, Insigne

Feyenoord: Jones; Diks, Tapia (Van Beek 78), St Juste, Haps; Amrabat, El Ahmadi, Vilhena; Berghuis (Larsson 87), Toornstra (Basacikoglu 69), Boetius

Ref: Collum (SCO)

Saved penalty: Toornstra 68 (F)