Edinson Cavani scored four in a devastating display of finishing as SSC Napoli recovered from 2-1 down to defeat FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and dash the Ukrainian side's hopes of securing early qualification in Group F.
With the hosts staring down the barrel at their first continental home loss in 16 games, Napoli were thrown a lifeline when the Uruguay striker delightfully curled in a free-kick after 77 minutes. The 25-year-old added two more in the closing stages, lifting Napoli up to second in the section and to within three points of tonight's opponents.
Dnipro had not conceded in three games since defeating the Azzurri on matchday three, so it was perhaps a surprise when they fell behind early on. The identity of Napoli's scorer, however, was not. Cavani, so often the Serie A club's talisman, took receipt of Blerim Dzemaili's sumptuous pass with the outside of his right foot and finished unerringly across Jan Laštůvka.
With Gökhan Inler pulling the strings in midfield, Walter Mazzarri's team twice came close to increasing their lead through Andrea Dossena. Indeed, Dnipro were struggling to get a foothold, but they levelled against the run of play courtesy of Artem Fedetskiy. A scorer against the Partenopei two weeks ago, the 27-year-old turned the ball in from close range after Michael Odibe had glanced on Olexandr Aliyev's corner.
Sixty seconds after Napoli's Federico Fernández headed wide, Dnipro then took a 52nd-minute lead. Eduardo Vargas was dispossessed inside his half, and that allowed Yevhen Konoplyanka to find Roman Zozulya, who fired beyond Antonio Rosati.
Odibe poked wide following Ruslan Rotan's corner before Fedetskiy threw himself in the way of Lorenzo Insigne's goal-bound effort. Cavani, as he so often does, proved Napoli's saviour, delightfully bending in a free-kick and completing his hat-trick by turning in Marek Hamšík's low ball following an exquisite Insigne back-heel.
An added-time volley for his fourth – a record-equalling feat for a UEFA Europa League fixture – capped a memorable night.
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