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Honours even between Napoli and Athletic

Published: Tuesday 19 August 2014, 23.05CET
SSC Napoli 1-1 Athletic Club
Gonzalo Higuaín rescued a draw for the hosts but Iker Muniain's opener gives the Spanish side an important away goal.
by Ben Gladwell
from Stadio San Paolo
Honours even between Napoli and Athletic
Iker Muniain (left) is congratulated after putting Athletic ahead ©Getty Images

Match statistics

NapoliAthletic

Goals scored1
 
1
Total attempts12
 
16
on target4
 
5
off target6
 
8
blocked2
 
3
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners6
 
5
Offsides6
 
0
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed8
 
19
Fouls suffered18
 
8

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 19 August 2014, 23.05CET

Honours even between Napoli and Athletic

SSC Napoli 1-1 Athletic Club
Gonzalo Higuaín rescued a draw for the hosts but Iker Muniain's opener gives the Spanish side an important away goal.

Athletic Club will take an away goal back to Spain after holding SSC Napoli to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off tie, Iker Muniain's opener cancelled out by Gonzalo Higuaín.

• Muniain's 41st-minute goal silences home crowd
• Higuaín levels midway through second period
• Higuaín leads line 37 days after World Cup final
• 600 Bilbao fans make their voices heard
• 0-0 enough for Basque club in 27 August second leg

Selected by Rafael Benítez just over a month after appearing in the FIFA World Cup final for Argentina, Higuaín showed he was re-energised back in club colours as he burst down the right and hooked in an early cross which Marek Hamšík headed over. Hamšík then dragged a shot wide before Lorenzo Insigne missed an even better opportunity, only just failing to reach Jorginho's lofted ball with only Gorka Iraizoz to beat.

Deafening whistles accompanied every Athletic attack and the shrills became increasingly frequent as the guests established a foothold in the game, going the closest yet when Aymeric Laporte flashed his near-post header just wide of the right-hand upright.

Athletic had achieved one objective in neutralising the impact of the fans, and after threatening to take the lead twice, they succeeded at the third time of asking. Óscar de Marcos was allowed to progress unchallenged deep into Napoli territory and he teed up Muniain for a well-placed shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Athletic emerged for the second half galvanised by their lead, not afraid to attack with the tricky Muniain proving a constant thorn in Napoli's side. They did so while maintaining a strong defensive organisation, but that was disrupted by the introduction of Dries Mertens, who managed to bring a sparkle back to Napoli's play.

Soon after, they were on terms when Higuaín grabbed his ninth goal in 11 games against Athletic with a low shot into the far corner. José Callejón wasted an excellent chance to give Napoli the lead, blazing wide with only Iraizoz in his way as the home fans urged their team forwards. Although Mertens stung Iraizoz's palms, Napoli could not find a winner, with Athletic holding on for a draw.

Last updated: 31/05/15 1.30CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2015/matches/round=2000547/match=2014206/postmatch/report/index.html#higuain+rescues+napoli

Quotes

  • Ernesto Valverde

    Read more"We played with huge personality, at times dominating a big team"

Lineups

napoli

Napoli

athletic

Athletic

1
Rafael CabralRafael Cabral (GK)
1
Gorka IraizozGorka Iraizoz (GK)
5
BritosMiguel Britos
4
LaporteAymeric Laporte
7
CallejónJosé Callejón
7
Beñat EtxebarriaBeñat Etxebarria
Substitution75
8
JorginhoJorginho
Yellow Card10
8
A. IturraspeAnder Iturraspe
Substitution89
9
HiguaínGonzalo Higuaín
Goal68
10
De MarcosÓscar de Marcos
11
MaggioChristian Maggio
14
SusaetaMarkel Susaeta
Substitution80
17
HamšíkMarek Hamšík (C)
Substitution78
17
RicoMikel Rico
24
InsigneLorenzo Insigne
Substitution60
18
GurpegiCarlos Gurpegi (C)
Yellow Card72
26
KoulibalyKalidou Koulibaly
19
MuniainIker Muniain
Goal41
33
AlbiolRaúl Albiol
20
Aritz AdurizAritz Aduriz
77
GarganoWalter Gargano
24
BalenziagaMikel Balenziaga
Yellow Card75

Substitutes

45
AndújarMariano Andújar (GK)
13
Iago HerrerínIago Herrerín (GK)
14
MertensDries Mertens
Substitution60
5
MoránErik Morán
Substitution89
16
MestoGiandomenico Mesto
6
San JoséMikel San José
Substitution75
25
MichuMichu
Substitution78
11
Ibai GómezIbai Gómez
Substitution80
31
GhoulamFaouzi Ghoulam
15
IraolaAndoni Iraola
88
InlerGökhan Inler
22
Guillermo FernándezGuillermo Fernández
91
ZapataDuván Zapata
29
LopezUnai Lopez

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) Ernesto Valverde (ESP)

Referee

Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

Assistant referees

Mathias Klasenius (SWE), Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)

Fourth official

Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)

Additional assistant referees

Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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