Napoli seized control with a 3-0 first-leg win against Salzburg and will look to seal a quarter-final place in Austria.
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Austrian champions Salzburg may have to provide a repeat of their round of 32 second-leg scoreline at home to Club Brugge if they are to remain in the competition following a 3-0 defeat away against a Napoli side with their sights set on becoming the first Italian winners of the UEFA Europa League.
• Salzburg topped UEFA Europa League Group B with maximum points ahead of Celtic, Leipzig and Rosenborg before staging an impressive second-leg 4-0 win at home to wipe out a first-leg 2-1 deficit and eliminate Club Brugge – who had also moved across from the UEFA Champions League – in the round of 32.
• Napoli were the best third-placed team in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage, finishing with nine points, but their only defeat, 0-1 at Liverpool on matchday six, enabled the Merseysiders to leapfrog them into second place on goals scored and qualify alongside group winners Paris Saint-Germain. The Partenopei kicked off their UEFA Europa League campaign with a comfortable 5-1 aggregate win against Zürich.
• Napoli's first ever UEFA fixture against Austrian opponents proved a memorable one as they dominated Salzburg at the Stadio San Paolo, Arkadiusz Milik and Fabián Ruiz scoring inside the first 18 minutes before a second-half own goal from Salzburg defender Jérôme Onguéné completed a handsome 3-0 win.
• Salzburg have won only four of their 15 European encounters with Italian clubs. They lost their first three home games against Serie A opposition but are unbeaten in the last three, winning two of them – both against Lazio. Their only European final appearance, in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, ended with defeat by an Italian club, Internazionale beating them 1-0 in both legs, and their joint heaviest home European defeat (0-4) came against Parma in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup second round.
• Champions of Austria for the fifth year running in 2017/18, Salzburg entered this season's UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, but their annual summer quest to reach the group stage ended in another near-miss as they surrendered a two-goal lead to lose on away goals to Crvena zvezda in the play-offs (0-0 away, 2-2 home).
• The Austrian side claimed maximum points in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, becoming the first club to achieve the feat three times (after 2009/10 and 2013/14). It was also the fifth time that they had come through a UEFA Europa League group unbeaten and the fifth time they had topped their section – both competition records.
• Last season Salzburg enjoyed the most successful of their five previous campaigns in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, eliminating Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 (2-1 away, 0-0 home) on their way to the semi-finals. It was the club's first last-16 win, their only other attempt having ended in a 2013/14 defeat by Basel (0-0 away, 1-2 home).
• Salzburg are undefeated in 17 European home games, winning 13. They have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 16 UEFA Europa League home fixtures, play-offs included, keeping clean sheets in ten of those matches and winning the last six.
• Salzburg have won seven of the 17 UEFA two-legged ties in which they have lost the first match away, most recently against Club Brugge in this season's round of 32. They had mixed fortunes in the latter stages of last season's UEFA Europa League after losing the away leg, recovering to beat Napoli's Serie A rivals Lazio in the quarter-final (2-4 away, 4-1 home) but going out in the next round to Marseille (0-2 away, 2-1aet home). Only once previously have they lost the first away leg 3-0, against AEK Athens in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup first round, a 1-0 home win proving insufficient.
• Serie A runners-up in 2017/18, Napoli qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the fifth time – all in the last eight seasons.
• This is the second successive season that they have finished third in their UEFA Champions League section and therefore crossed over to the UEFA Europa League. Last term they were defeated in the round of 32 by Leipzig, losing to the European debutants on away goals (1-3 home, 2-0 away), but came through that stage this season, beating Zürich 3-1 in Switzerland and 2-0 in southern Italy.
• This is Napoli's third appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. They lost their first contest, going down 3-2 on aggregate to Porto in 2013/14 (0-1 away, 2-2 home), but the following season defeated Dinamo Moskva (3-1 home, 0-0 away) en route to the semi-finals.
• UEFA Cup winners in 1989, Napoli have won only two of their last eight European away fixtures (D2 L4). Their away record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W4 D2 L5, with victories in each of the last two.
• Napoli have won 11 of the 16 UEFA competition ties in which they have held the lead after the home first leg, including the two most recent – that 2014/15 contest against Dinamo Moskva and a 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-off against Nice (2-0, 2-0). The 3-0 win against Salzburg equals their best ever home European first-leg victory, the same scoreline having been recorded against Újpest in the 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round; Napoli won the return 2-0 in Hungary.
Links and trivia
• Salzburg's Enock Mwepu and Patson Daka both scored for Zambia in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying victories against an Algeria side that featured Faouzi Ghoulam and – in one of the games – Adam Ounas.
• Napoli lifted the UEFA Cup in 1988/89 and are one of seven former winners of the trophy in this season's round of 16, along with Sevilla, Internazionale, Chelsea, Zenit, Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt.
• While Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has overseen 160 UEFA Champions League matches, the round of 32 first leg in Zurich was his coaching debut in the UEFA Europa League.
• Salzburg's win against Club Brugge in the round of 32 second leg was the Austrian club's record 38th in the competition, one more than Villarreal.
• Salzburg's Israeli international striker Munas Dabbur is the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League's joint top scorer with seven goals, along with Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder.
• André Ramalho made his 50th UEFA club competition appearance in the first leg; Salzburg team-mate Alexander Walke will join him on that landmark with his next appearance.
• Salzburg are one of two current domestic champions in the round of 16, together with Dinamo Zagreb. Six others were eliminated in the round of 32.
• Salzburg are one of four clubs participating in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the second successive season, alongside Dynamo Kyiv, Zenit and fellow 2017/18 semi-finalists Arsenal.
• Salzburg's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
5-4 v Eintracht Frankfurt, 1993/94 UEFA Cup quarter-final
2-3 v Dinamo Minsk, 2015/16 UEFA Europa League play-off
• Napoli's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
3-4 v Toulouse, 1986/87 UEFA Cup first round
4-3 v Sporting CP, 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round
3-5 v Spartak Moskva, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs’ Cup second round
• Previously Salzburg's youth team boss, Marco Rose stepped up to the senior helm after Óscar García left in June 2017, having led the club to victory in the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League. A defender with home-town club VfB Leipzig, Hannover and Mainz, he has been on Salzburg's coaching staff since 2013 and oversaw the club's fifth successive Austrian Bundesliga title as well as a run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals during his debut campaign in the top job. The club has continued to prosper under his guidance in 2018/19.
• One of the most distinguished and successful coaches in contemporary European football, former Italian international midfielder Carlo Ancelotti has an enviable CV, having managed several of the continent's top clubs and won a stack of trophies, including the UEFA Champions League on three occasions and league titles in Italy, England, France and Germany. He was appointed by Napoli in May 2018, the Partenopei becoming the record eighth club he has coached in the UEFA Champions League – after Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern München.