EUROPA LEAGUE – Round of 32: Swansea bow out to clinical Napoli

Swansea City’s first season in Europe has come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Thursday night.

Swansea City’s first season in Europe has come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Thursday night.

Last week’s 0-0 draw in south Wales was succeeded by a more exciting affair in Naples but the result went against the Swans who were agonisingly close to drawing level at the death to go through on away goals.

Nevertheless, Rafael Benitez’s Partenopei got the job done over Garry Monk’s Swans to move through to the Round of 16 thanks to goals from Lorenzo Insigne, Gonzalo Higuain and Gokhan Inler while Jonathan de Guzman was on target for the visitors.

The opening goal came in the 17th minute when Higuain played a neat ball for Insigne who managed to deftly lob over Swans keeper Michel Vorm.

Swansea were back on level terms less than 15 minutes later when Wilfried Bony played de Guzman through and the Dutchman was able to fire beyond a rushing Pepe Reina from the edge of the area.

It took until the 78th minute for Napoli to restore the lead and it came via a defensive error when Ben Davies misjudged a clearance which fell to the clinical Higuain who put it away past Vorm.

Napoli keeper Reina was on hand to come up with a crucial save with minutes remaining, managing to tip over Dwight Tiendalli’s point blank header from a free-kick, which essentially got the Italian club through.

As Swansea chased an equaliser – which would have had them progress by virtue of the away goal rule – Napoli pounced with Inler advancing towards goal and slotting home to give his side a flattering two-goal triumph.

Benitez’s side will now prepare for the Round of 16 where they will meet Portuguese giants FC Porto on March 13 in the first leg and March 20 in the second.

2013/14 UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 second leg

Napoli (ITA): 3 (Lorenzo Insigne 17’, Gonzalo Higuain 78’, Gokhan Inler 90+1’)
Swansea City (WAL): 1 (Jonathan de Guzman 30’)
*Napoli wins 3-1 on aggregate
Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy – 27,000

 
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