Europa League - Group C
LeicesterLeicester City2NapoliNapoli2

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

By Emma SandersBBC Sport
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 88'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 63'minutes
  • 9Osimhen
  • 24InsigneSubstituted forOunasat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Nunes Jesus
  • 7Elmas
  • 16Idasiak
  • 21Politano
  • 33Ounas
  • 37Petagna
  • 44Manolas
  • 59Zanoli
  • 72Boffelli
Referee:
Tiago Martins
Attendance:
29,579

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamNapoli
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home7
Away22
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 2, Napoli 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Napoli 2.

  3. Booking

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Amir Rrahmani (Napoli).

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Juan Jesus (Napoli).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Dismissal

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

  11. Post update

    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. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Youri Tielemans (Leicester City).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Jamie Vardy replaces Kelechi Iheanacho.

  15. Goal!

    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. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Foul by Ademola Lookman (Leicester City).

  18. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Amir Rrahmani.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Napoli. Juan Jesus replaces Kevin Malcuit.

  20. Substitution

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

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