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Leicester City 2-2 Napoli: Group favourites level after exciting encounter

Victor Osimhen scores
Victor Osimhen had missed several chances in the first half before scoring two goals after the break

Brendan Rodgers said his “young team will learn” after they gave away a two-goal lead over Napoli in their Europa League opener at King Power Stadium.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen scored twice in the second half after Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes had given Leicester a 2-0 lead.

Osimhen’s exquisite touch past Kasper Schmeichel reduced the deficit, before he completed the comeback with a header in the 87th minute.

“The crime isn’t giving away the two goals, the crime is if you don’t learn from it. I’m sure that is something this young team will do,” said Rodgers.

Perez had opened the scoring with a volley from Barnes’ cross before the winger fired in Leicester’s second shortly after summer signing Patson Daka had a goal ruled out for offside.

The hosts looked set to take pole position in Group C, but Osimhen dealt a late blow before Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi was sent off for a second booking.

It leaves the group wide open with Leicester still to travel to Italy, as well as facing Spartak Moscow and Legia Warsaw.

“I’m disappointed with the end result but there were some exciting and good moments,” added Rodgers. “The two goals are outstanding and the one that was disallowed was tight.

“Maybe we tired a bit. There are things for us to improve on – like keeping the ball better for longer periods. If we did that, we wouldn’t tire so quickly.

“The effort and mentality was good. It is a shame we couldn’t close it out.”

Leicester clawed back in enthralling battle

Ayoze Perez scores for Leicester City
Ayoze Perez was one of five changes to the starting line-up made by Brendan Rodgers for Leicester

There was a carnival atmosphere at the King Power to welcome European football back to Leicester and the match – widely tipped as a battle between two sides considered among the favourites to win the competition – did not disappoint.

Napoli set the tone with their first shot on target after only three minutes and Leicester responded when Barnes was denied from close range, before setting up Perez’s volley with a perfectly-weighted cross.

Timothy Castagne, along with the help of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, somehow kept out Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski, while Lorenzo Insigne and Hirving Lozano came close.

The Italians had been wasteful and when Barnes coolly thumped in Leicester’s second, they looked set to come out on top.

But a sublime one-touch passing move saw Osimhen dance into the box before he flicked the ball past Jannik Vestergaard and over Schmeichel.

And the Napoli forward then hung well in the air to nod in a punishing second.

Tensions flared following the final whistle as police and stewards intervened after missiles were thrown by both sets of supporters.

Player of the match

OsimhenVictor Osimhen

with an average of 7.24

Leicester City

  1. Squad number7Player nameBarnes

    Average rating

    7.10

  2. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

    Average rating

    6.66

  3. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

    Average rating

    6.58

  4. Squad number6Player nameEvans

    Average rating

    6.55

  5. Squad number17Player nameAyoze Pérez

    Average rating

    6.51

  6. Squad number29Player nameDaka

    Average rating

    6.49

  7. Squad number42Player nameSoumaré

    Average rating

    6.43

  8. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

    Average rating

    6.40

  9. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

    Average rating

    6.15

  10. Squad number23Player nameVestergaard

    Average rating

    6.04

  11. Squad number5Player nameBertrand

    Average rating

    5.92

  12. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

    Average rating

    5.90

  13. Squad number37Player nameLookman

    Average rating

    5.47

  14. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

    Average rating

    5.34

  15. Squad number9Player nameVardy

    Average rating

    5.05

  16. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

    Average rating

    4.51

Napoli

  1. Squad number9Player nameOsimhen

    Average rating

    7.24

  2. Squad number33Player nameOunas

    Average rating

    6.77

  3. Squad number5Player nameJuan Jesus

    Average rating

    6.36

  4. Squad number37Player namePetagna

    Average rating

    6.15

  5. Squad number24Player nameInsigne

    Average rating

    6.00

  6. Squad number11Player nameLozano

    Average rating

    5.82

  7. Squad number21Player namePolitano

    Average rating

    5.81

  8. Squad number20Player nameZielinski

    Average rating

    5.71

  9. Squad number26Player nameKoulibaly

    Average rating

    5.66

  10. Squad number7Player nameElmas

    Average rating

    5.63

  11. Squad number99Player nameZambo Anguissa

    Average rating

    5.59

  12. Squad number13Player nameRrahmani

    Average rating

    5.41

  13. Squad number8Player nameRuiz

    Average rating

    5.36

  14. Squad number2Player nameMalcuit

    Average rating

    5.34

  15. Squad number22Player nameDi Lorenzo

    Average rating

    5.28

  16. Squad number25Player nameOspina

    Average rating

    5.01

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 27Castagne
  • 6EvansSubstituted forSöyüncüat 45′minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 23VestergaardBooked at 53mins
  • 5Bertrand
  • 17PérezSubstituted forTielemansat 45′minutes
  • 25NdidiBooked at 90mins
  • 42SoumaréBooked at 32minsSubstituted forMaddisonat 78′minutes
  • 29DakaSubstituted forLookmanat 71′minutes
  • 14IheanachoSubstituted forVardyat 87′minutes
  • 7Barnes

Substitutes

  • 4Söyüncü
  • 8Tielemans
  • 9Vardy
  • 10Maddison
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 18Amartey
  • 20Choudhury
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 33Thomas
  • 37Lookman

Napoli

Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Ospina
  • 2MalcuitSubstituted forNunes Jesusat 84′minutes
  • 13RrahmaniBooked at 90mins
  • 26Koulibaly
  • 22Di LorenzoBooked at 33mins
  • 99Zambo AnguissaSubstituted forPetagnaat 84′minutes
  • 8Ruiz
  • 20ZielinskiSubstituted forElmasat 64′minutes
  • 11LozanoSubstituted forPolitanoat 64′minutes
  • 9Osimhen
  • 24InsigneSubstituted forOunasat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Nunes Jesus
  • 7Elmas
  • 16Idasiak
  • 21Politano
  • 33Ounas
  • 37Petagna
  • 44Manolas
  • 59Zanoli
  • 72Boffelli

Referee:
Tiago Martins

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Leicester City 2, Napoli 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Napoli 2.

  3. Amir Rrahmani (Napoli) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Foul by Amir Rrahmani (Napoli).

  5. James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Foul by Juan Jesus (Napoli).

  7. Ademola Lookman (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Second yellow card to Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) for a bad foul.

  9. Adam Ounas (Napoli) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

  11. Attempt missed. Amir Rrahmani (Napoli) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Matteo Politano with a cross following a set piece situation.

  12. Adam Ounas (Napoli) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Foul by Youri Tielemans (Leicester City).

  14. Substitution, Leicester City. Jamie Vardy replaces Kelechi Iheanacho.

  15. Goal! Leicester City 2, Napoli 2. Victor Osimhen (Napoli) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Matteo Politano with a cross.

  16. David Ospina (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Ademola Lookman (Leicester City).

  18. Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Amir Rrahmani.

  19. Substitution, Napoli. Juan Jesus replaces Kevin Malcuit.

  20. Substitution, Napoli. Andrea Petagna replaces André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

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