Expedition Europa continues! Despite losing 2-0 in the second leg of our UEFA Europa League round-of-32 tie with SSC Napoli, Die Roten Bullen have progressed to the last 16. A 3-1 win in Naples last week means RBL go through on away goals.
It was a fairly even affar in the early exchanges, although Leipzig were unlucky not to be in front when Marcel Sabitzer's shot was headed onto his own crossbar by Lorenzo Tonelli after 13 minutes. Napoli were enjoying the majority of their success down the left flank, and that was where their opening goal came from. Lorenzo Insigne was played in beyond the defence and fired at goal from a tight angle, and while Péter Gulácsi got two hands to his shot, Piotr Zieliniski turned home the rebound around the half-hour mark.
There weren't many highlights after that as Hasenhüttl's boys re-gained their foothold and mostly kept Napoli at bay. It wasn't until the 85th minute that the Italian visitors were able to get through the centre-back pairing of Ibrahima Konaté and Dayot Upamecano again, and this time it was Insigne on the scoresheet, getting ahead of Laimer to convert a deep cross. The final minutes were nervy for Die Roten Bullen, but we were able to see out the result to secure a place in Friday's last-16 draw in Nyon. RBL will find out their opponents from 13:00 CET.
- Ralph Hasenhüttl made six changes to the side beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday night, with Ibrahima Konaté, Bernardo, Kevin Kampl, Bruma, Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen all coming into the starting XI.
- Naby Keïta (pulled hamstring) and Willi Orban (knee wound) missed the match through injury.
- Emil Forsberg came on in the 73rd minute to make his 100th competitive appearance for Die Roten Bullen.