Match report as late Victor Osimhen double cancels out Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes strikes as Leicester let two-goal slip to Napoli in Europa League opener
Leicester City surrendered a two-goal lead in the final 20 minutes as Victor Osimhen’s double earned Napoli a 2-2 draw in their thrilling Europa League opener.
The Foxes got off to the perfect start at the King Power Stadium when Ayoze Perez ended a 15-game goal drought inside nine minutes with an emphatic volley into the Napoli – his first-ever European goal.
Summer signing Patson Daka looked to have doubled Leicester’s lead on the hour, only for his strike to be ruled out for offside, but, five minutes later, Harvey Barnes found the net at the end of a flowing counter to leave the Foxes on course to victory.
Napoli spurned a host of chances throughout the game but managed to reduce the arrears within five minutes as Osimhen lofted his first over Kasper Schmeichel. And, with three minutes remaining, he rescued a point with a superb towering header.
Leicester’s collapse was compounded by the stoppage-time dismissal of Wilfred Ndidi – who misses the next game against Legia Warsaw – for a second bookable offence, adding insult to injury on a night victory slipped away from Brendan Rodgers’s side.
Police and stewards had to control a disturbance between the home and travelling fans at full time with missiles thrown between supporters. Missiles were thrown from both sets of supporters as tensions flared at the end of the game.
Leicester and Napoli started the tournament as joint favourites to lift the trophy in Seville in May and went at each other as if to prove their credentials.
Napoli threatened first and Kasper Schmeichel spilled Osimhen’s early drive from distance before David Ospina came to the visitors’ rescue.