Feyenoord 2 vs 1 Napoli 6th December 2017 UCL
The loss means the Partenopei drop down into the Europa League Round of 32, which gets under way in February 2018
Napoli’s dream of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League ended with a 2-1 defeat away against Feyenoord this evening.
Fate had already conspired against us elsewhere, as Shakhtar Donetsk pulled off an improbable 2-1 win against Manchester City to guarantee second place in the group.
Maurizio Sarri made it clear in the pre-match news conference that Napoli had to focus first and foremost on getting their part of the job done in Rotterdam. When Piotr Zielinski pounced on a loose ball in the area to rifle into the roof of the net after just two minutes played, it looked as if his players would do just that.
Napoli looked full of energy and ideas for the first half an hour and could easily have added to their lead; both Dries Mertens and Marek Hamsik drew good saves from Kenneth Vermeer in the game’s early exchanges.
Credit to the fervent support at De Kuip stadium, they never relented and their moment finally came in the 33rd minute when Nicolai Jorgensen headed home a cross against the run of play.
The goal gave Feyenoord a boost and the hosts grew much more comfortable in the game. Throughout the second half, they largely managed to contain Napoli going forward. We continued to combine neatly in midfield but perhaps lacked some conviction and bite up front.
Despite Tonny Vilhena getting sent off for a second bookable offence in the 83rd minute, Feyenoord still managed to grab the winner when Jeremiah St. Juste headed home from close range in the 91st minute.
The final scoreline was harsh on Napoli, who deserved a draw based on the overall performance, and means our European adventure will continue in the last-32 of the Europa League next spring.
Feyenoord 2-1 Napoli (HT: 1-1)
Scorers: Zielinski 2, Jorgensen 33, St. Juste 90+1
Napoli: Reina, Maggio (Mario Rui 64), Albiol, Koulibaly, Hysaj, Allan (Rog 60), Diawara, Hamsik, Callejon (Ounas 74), Zielinski, Mertens.
Subs: Sepe, Chiriches, Jorginho, Giaccherini.
Coach: Maurizio Sarri.
Feyenoord: Veermer, Nieuwkoop (St. Juste 76), Van Beek, Tapia, Malacia, Amrabat, Toornstra, Vilhena, Berghuis (Larsson 72), Jorgensen, Boetius.
Coach: Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Assistants: Burt and Bennet assistants.
Fourth official: Lennard.
Additional assistants: Marriner and Tierney.
Yellow cards: Hysaj, Mertens, St. Juste, Vilhena.
Red card: Vilhena (second bookable offence).