Napoli eliminates Swansea from Europa
Swansea bowed out of the Europa League on Thursday, losing 3-1 to Rafael Benitez' Napoli in Naples, despite a gutsy display.
The hosts took the lead through Lorenzo Insigne before Jonathan de Guzman brought the Swans level on the half-hour mark. Swansea squandered the chance to take the lead in the second half and were punished when Gonzalo Higuain put Napoli in front, before Gokhan Inler sealed victory for the Serie A side late on.
Napoli took advantage of a sluggish start from the Swansea defence as Dwight Tiendalli and Ashley Williams were dragged out of line, allowing Insigne to beat the offside trap. The Italian striker latched onto the end of a lofted ball before expertly lobbing Michel Vorm.
Napoli's could not take their lead into the break however as Swansea found their stride and a priceless away goal. Parity was restored on the half-hour mark, when Wayne Routledge stretched the Napoli defence wide, before picking out De Guzman in the centre, who calmly slotted beneath Pepe Reina.
Swansea should have taken the lead midway through the second half when Hernandez, who continues to thrive in his newly-allocated No 10 role, provided Wilfried Bony with a precision cross.
The Ivorian striker could not steer his header either side of Reina however and the on-loan Liverpool keeper collected with ease. Swansea were left to rue that miss when Higuain, benefiting form a lucky break as the ball fell at his feet from an attempted Davies interception, fired home with venom to put Napoli in the lead.
Inler gave Swansea a last-minute sucker punch as he added a third for Napoli as Garry Monk's side committed all their men to attack.