Champions League

Napoli rekindle European campaign against Feyenoord

2017-09-27 07:42
Jose Callejon (Twitter)

Naples - Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon scored as Napoli got their first points in Champions League Group F on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Feyenoord.

Despite flying high with a perfect record in Serie A, Napoli had slumped to an opening round defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

But playing in a Stadio San Paolo where visiting Dutch fans were banned, Italian Insigne put the hosts on their way after seven minutes with Mertens and Spaniard Callejon scoring after the break.

Maurizio Sarri's side took advantage of major errors in the injury-depleted Dutch defense before midfielder Sofyan Amrabat pulled one back for the visitors late to infuriate the Napoli coach.

"In a competition where goal difference counts, you cannot concede a goal like that 10 seconds from the end. I cannot be satisfied," Sarri told Mediaset Premium.

"We had a good game, created a lot, but what I don't like is that we allowed Feyenoord absolutely nothing and yet they scored a goal and had a penalty. Clearly we are doing something very wrong."

The result puts Napoli third in Group F equal on points but behind Shakhtar Donestsk on goal difference with Feyenoord bottom after a second defeat after falling 4-0 to Manchester City.

Polish international Arkadiusz Milik, sidelined for up to five months for Napoli with torn cruciate ligaments, was replaced with Serbian defender Nikola Maksimovic getting his Champions League debut.

Feyenoord also had several injury problems and their plight worsened when defender Jan Arie van der Heijden pulled up in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Renato Tapia.

Taking advantage of problems in the Feyenoord defense the hosts pulled ahead minutes into the game when Insigne surged forward firing in from the edge of the box after a poor clearance by Amrabat.

Insigne tried to celebrate by waving Milik's jersey, but another Pole Piotr Zielinski instead handed him his shirt as a joke.

A missed Kevin Diks' back pass than gifted Mertens the second on 49 minutes with Callejon's third on 70 minutes again following a lost ball by the Dutch defense 35 metres out from their goal.

Napoli were also far from perfect with Amrabat's last-gasp goal and a penalty conceded by Fauozi Ghoulam which was cleared by Pepe Reina mid-way through the second half.

Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst lamented "too many individual errors".

"Admittedly, it was difficult at the San Paolo. After the goal, we tried to stay solid, but had some unlucky situations and errors.

"Unfortunately, with so many of our players missing, it made a big difference."

Feyenoord fans were banned from the stadium by city authorities after rioting in Rome following a Europa League game two years ago.

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