Spartak Moscow vs Napoli 2-1: Sobolev and Selikhov Doom Azzurri

Despite a decent performance, Napoli were defeated by Spartak Moscow in the fifth game of the group stage of the Europa League. Depending on what happens in Leicester City-Legia Warsaw tomorrow, the Azzurri might find themselves outside of the top two spots entering the final round. The Partenopei gave up multiple goals in two straight fixtures for the first time in 2021-2022.

Napoli went down in the score just two minutes into the game. The referee whistled a cheap foul by Stanislav Lobotka on Clement Turpin in the box. Alexander Sobolev converted the penalty spot.

Goalie Aleksandr Selikhov began his personal show at the 16th minute, denying two close-range attempts in a row by Elijf Elmas. He pulled off a masterful save on Piotr Zielinski a little later, stabbing his arm out at the last moment on a sure-fire shot. Spartak Moscow doubled the lead against the run of play at the 28th minute. Sobolev completed his brace with a well-directed header after Victor Moses wriggled free down the right flank.

Napoli came out with more ferocity from the locker room. Giovanni Di Lorenzo had a goal disallowed for a matter of inches five minutes after halftime. Selikhov had another brilliant save on Dries Mertens. The Azzurri eventually broke through at the 64th minute. Andrea Petagna scurried his way on the right-hand portion of the box and found Elmas with a soft cross for an easy header.

The two teams traded threatening strikes five minutes later, but neither Nail Umyarov nor Di Lorenzo could find the target. The home team saw the game out with great expertise, and Napoli had trouble creating chances in the final stages. Selikhov again showed off by parrying away another pinpoint header by Elmas in the dying minutes.