Leicester Metropolis surrendered a two-goal lead within the ultimate 20 minutes as Victor Osimhen’s double earned Napoli a 2-2 draw of their thrilling Europa League opener.
The Foxes bought off to the proper begin on the King Energy Stadium when Ayoze Perez ended a 15-game objective drought inside 9 minutes with an emphatic volley into the Napoli – his first-ever European objective.
Summer time signing Patson Daka appeared to have doubled Leicester’s lead on the hour, just for his strike to be dominated out for offside, however, 5 minutes later, Harvey Barnes discovered the web on the finish of a flowing counter to go away the Foxes on target to victory.
Napoli spurned a bunch of possibilities all through the sport however managed to cut back the arrears inside 5 minutes as Osimhen lofted his first over Kasper Schmeichel. And, with three minutes remaining, he rescued a degree with an outstanding towering header.
Leicester’s collapse was compounded by the stoppage-time dismissal of Wilfred Ndidi – who misses the subsequent recreation in opposition to Legia Warsaw – for a second bookable offence, including insult to damage on an evening victory slipped away from Brendan Rodgers’s aspect.
Police and stewards needed to management a disturbance between the house and travelling followers at full time with missiles thrown between supporters. Missiles have been thrown from each units of supporters as tensions flared on the finish of the sport.
Leicester let two-goal lead slip
Leicester and Napoli began the match as joint favourites to carry the trophy in Seville in Could and went at one another as if to show their credentials.
Napoli threatened first and Kasper Schmeichel spilled Osimhen’s early drive from distance earlier than David Ospina got here to the guests’ rescue.
The previous Arsenal goalkeeper flung himself at Barnes’ ft to show his close-range shot huge after Perez bullied his manner by way of and Kelechi Iheanacho helped on his cross.
However Ospina couldn’t thwart the Foxes for lengthy and so they grabbed the opener after simply 9 minutes. Barnes burst ahead, swapped passes with Patson Daka and delivered a deep cross for Perez to volley in on the far submit.
Napoli responded properly and the vigorous Osimhen slashed huge earlier than teeing up Malcuit to shoot over after 29 minutes. Osimhen continued to be a menace and, when he beat Jonny Evans to cross, solely a mixture of Timothy Castagne and Schmeichel stored out Zielinski.
Napoli, who had gained all three Serie A video games this season, had slowly taken management and skipper Lorenzo Insigne drilled huge because the Foxes struggled to regain a rhythm.
The Italians have been in command however have been changing into wasteful with Nigeria worldwide Osimhen firing one other alternative over earlier than Schmeichel ensured Leicester went into the break forward.
The Foxes had lived dangerously and survived one other warning when Malcuit’s cross discovered Lozano drifting into area and his header was parried by Schmeichel.
Leicester, taking part in their first house European recreation with followers since their Champions League quarter ultimate with Atletico Madrid in 2017, wanted a treatment.
Boss Brendan Rodgers recognised it, changing Perez and Jonny Evans with Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu on the break, however Leicester initially didn’t stem the tide. But, the Foxes thought that they had doubled their lead after 59 minutes.
Tielemans was concerned, poking the ball by way of to Daka for the striker to drill in, solely to be denied his first Leicester objective by a marginal VAR offside name. 5 minutes later, although, the Foxes did discover their second objective.
Iheanacho gained the ball in midfield and his excellent cross discovered Barnes on the left for the winger to tease Malcuit and drill into the nook.
Napoli had paid the worth for his or her profligacy however they pulled a objective again in fashion with 21 minutes left. A slick transfer on the sting of the field involving Insigne, Elif Elmas and Fabian Ruiz ended with Osimhen holding off Jannik Vestergaard and lifting the ball over Schmeichel from six yards.
Unsurprisingly, Napoli pressed for the leveller and Schmeichel turned Elmas’ shot away however the Foxes couldn’t dangle on. Osimhen had been a continuing menace and he netted once more with three minutes left to stage, heading in Matteo Politano’s cross from eight yards.
Ndidi was then dismissed in stoppage time for accumulating a second yellow card after he pulled again Adam Ounas.
What the supervisor mentioned…
Leicester supervisor Brendan Rodgers: “It was a very good measure for us. Napoli are arguably the favourites for the competitors, however we have been very aggressive.
“We’re disenchanted to lose the targets however there may be nonetheless loads for us to be joyful about and plenty for us to analyse the place we will do higher.
“It was a very thrilling recreation for the impartial, I used to be actually happy with the workforce when it comes to the mentality, the targets and the resilience for lots of the sport.
“I did not suppose the referee was excellent all evening and Wilf was unlucky, he picked up the reserving early on and was preventing to get throughout to cease the attacker getting away. It was somewhat bit harsh.”
- This was the primary time Leicester have had a 2+ objective lead in a house match (all competitions) however didn’t win since September 2016 in opposition to Chelsea. That they had gained every of their earlier 47 such matches earlier than tonight.
- Napoli have by no means gained away in opposition to English opposition in all European competitors (D3 L8), conceding no less than as soon as in all 11 such matches (23 conceded in complete).
- Together with his brace tonight, Victor Osimhen has been concerned in 9 targets in his final 10 appearances for Napoli in all competitions (7 targets, 2 assists).
- No participant has scored extra targets for Leicester in main European competitors than Harvey Barnes (4, stage with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez), with all 4 his strikes coming within the Europa League during the last two seasons.
- Ayoze Pérez netted his first objective in 15 video games for Leicester in all competitions, although this was the primary time the Foxes didn’t win a recreation wherein he scored (W8 D1).
Leicester resume their Premier League marketing campaign away to Brighton at 2pm on Sunday. Their subsequent Europa League recreation is away to Legia Warsaw on September 30.