Napoli thrash Wolfsburg 4-1 in Europa League

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Berlin, April 17 (IANS) Italian football club Napoli’s captain Marek Hamsik scored a brace to crush German side VFL Wolfsburg 4-1 away in the first leg of Europa League’s quarter-finals.

Wolfsburg suffered a night to forget on home soil as the “Wolves” posed no threat and were unable to stop midfielder Marek Hamsik, who was on target twice on Thursday, reports Xinhua.

Wolfsburg started highly motivated to lay a foundation for their progression into the semi-finals. However, it were the visitors who took the lead against the run of play when striker Gonzalo Higuain netted from 10 meters in the 15th minute.

Higuain was again in the thick of things eight minutes later when he passed into the path of midfielder Marek Hamsik, who doubled the lead with his first goal of the night. Wolfsburg wobbled and lacked in penetration while Napoli was clinical in chance conversion.

After the restart, the visitors started were they left off, as Hamsik tripled the lead to seal his brace when he capitalised on medio Jose Callejon’s square pass into the box after a goof-up by Wolfsburg’s defender Joshua Guilavogui in the 64th minute.

Things went from bad to worse for the “Wolves” as Napoli’s substitute Manolo Gabbiadini flabbergasted the hosts with the 4-0 lead, two minutes after his introduction.

However, Wolfsburg’s pain was a bit lessened when substitute Nicklas Bendtner scored the consolation goal in the closing period. It is Wolfsburg’s heaviest defeat on home soil in a European competition.

“Our chances are small to turn around a 4-1 loss on the road. We did not have the best of days but Napoli was clearly better today. Nevertheless, we can learn from this defeat,” Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said after the game.

Napoli host Wolfsburg in a week’s time for the second leg of the quarter-finals.

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