Napoli vs Spartak Moscow 2-3: Promes Brace Hands Partenopei First Season Loss

Napoli suffered their first defeat under Luciano Spalletti and it came against the unlikeliest of opponents in Spartak Moscow. 

The Partenopei couldn’t have got off to a better start as they opened the scoring after just 11 seconds thanks to Elif Elmas and had some really good chances to double their lead.

The turning point of the match perhaps Mario Rui’s red card and Spartak tried to make the most out of the one-man advantage. They went on to score three goals with Quincy Promes netting twice.

Napoli managed to pull one back through Victor Osimhen who is currently in the form of his life. However, that goal turned out to be a consolation and Spartak won what was an exciting encounter at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona that had more than its fair share of contentious moments.


Spalletti made three changes from Napoli’s 2-0 win over Cagliari with Kostas Manolas starting ahead of Amir Rrahmani while Elmas replaced Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. Andrea Petagna was in the lineup for the very first time this season while star-striker Osimhen was on the bench.

Spartak were unchanged from their victory over FC Ufa.


Napoli got off to the best possible start as Elmas opened the scoring after just 11 seconds. This was the North Macedonia international’s second of the season. Gli Azzurri kept putting pressure on the Spartak defence and Giovanni di Lorenzo had a good chance to double their lead but Aleksandr Maksimenko made a very good save to deny him. 

Napoli were down to ten men at the half-hour mark after Rui was sent off due to a foul on Victor Moses. The Portuguese left-back was initially shown a yellow card but referee Ivan Kruzliak changed it to red following a VAR check.

Minutes later, the Partenopei had another very good chance to go 2-0 up but Piotr Zielinski’s shot went way over the crossbar.

Tempers flared towards the end of half time when Spartak were initially awarded a penalty. However, Kruzliak overturned his decision after a VAR check.


Napoli brought on Osimhen in the second half and he was looking to attack the Spartak goal right from the beginning. 

The visitors began putting pressure on the hosts’ defence and found their equalizer thanks to Quincy Promes. They continued to attack with Moses causing all sorts of trouble on the right flank.

Napoli looked to have restored their lead through Manolas’ header but it was ruled out for offside. Samuel Gigot had a couple of chances to put Spartak ahead from corners but was unable to do so.

Narodnaya komanda took the lead thanks to substitute Mikhail Ignatov’s shot from the edge of the penalty area. However, they were reduced to ten men just minutes later as Maximiliano Caufriez received a second yellow card after a foul on Osimhen.

Spartak put the game to bed after Promes scored his second of the match in injury time. They nearly had a fourth but Aleksandr Sobolev’s shot was off-target.

Napoli eventually pulled one back through Osimhen who scored his seventh of the season. The Nigerian thus managed to find the net for the fifth match in a row. 

The Partenopei made one last attempt to equalize but Ruiz’s shot was over the bar and Spartak managed to hold on to their lead for the three points.

It was a thrilling end to a heated contest in Naples that saw both managers getting booked. Napoli are now third in their group after the defeat and will be hoping to win their next Europa League fixture against Legia Warsaw a few weeks later.



September 30, 2021 – Europa League 2021-2022 Group C

SCORERS: 1′ Elmas (N), 55′ Promes (S), 80′ Ignatov (S), 90′ Promes (S), 94′ Osimhen (N)

NAPOLI (4-3-3): Meret, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui, Elmas (82′ Ounas), Ruiz, Zielinski (46′ Anguissa), Politano (74′ Lozano), Petagna (46′ Osimhen), Insigne (41′ Malcuit) (Demme, Jesus, Rrahmani, Mertens, Ospina, Idasiak, Zanoli)  Coach: Spalletti
SPARTAK MOSCOW (3-5-2): Maksimenko, Caufriez, Gigot, Dzhikiya, Moses, Litvinov (72′ Ignatov), Bakaev (89′ Lomovitskiy), Umyarov, Ayrton, Ponce (45′ Sobolev), Promes (Rebrov, Yeshchenko, Gaponov, Selikhov, Melnikov) Coach: Rui Vitoria

REFEREE: Kruzliak (Slovakia)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Ponce (S), Litvinov (S), Sobolev (S), Di Lorenzo (N), Koulibaly (N), Ayrton (S), Ruiz (N), Manolas (N), Maksimenko (S), Vitoria (S), Spalletti (N); Red Cards: Mario Rui (N), Caufriez (S); Added Time: 1st Half 5′, 2nd Half 6′