After a surprising defeat away to Empoli ten days ago, when the team did too many mistakes in the defense and managed to score two own goals, the team bounced back with much better performance against Milan on Sunday night with a 3:0 victory. However, to be completely honest, their job was much easier from the first minute when the visitors stood with a man less.
Higuain missed a penalty kick two minutes later, but the hosts continued dominating the field and were more and more better as the time progressed. However, real class difference was seen in last twenty minutes of the game, when the visiting side stood without any breath, while Hamsik opened the scoreline in 70th minute, with Higuain and Gabbiadini scoring two more goals within next six minutes. With this victory, Napoli is fourth at the table, three points behind Roma and with not so big chances to obtain Champions League ticket. Home side continues to miss quite important midfielder Jonathan de Guzman (23/3), who is already out for more than couple of weeks, while long term absentee remains forward Michu (5/0). Unavailable for European League remains left back Ivan Strinic (8/0).
Dnipro, on the other side, comes from a 1:0 narrow exclusion in quarter-finals against Club Brugge. Only goal in two matches was scored in second leg in Ukraine, eight minutes before the full time whistle. Somehow, overall impression is that the players of Dnipro were lucky to get Club Brugge and that they could have been excluded against many other sides.
Anyhow, they now made already a decent progress by reaching semi-finals, but no doubt that the team won’t surrender here – however, playing probably a bit more relaxed than other side. They are also doing very well in the domestic league, being at the second position with a point more than Shakhtar as they are in great situation to secure Champions League ticket four rounds till the end. Midfielder Valeriy Fedorchuk returns to the lineup after serving his suspension, while the visitors probably continue to miss two offensive players – winger Roman Zozulya (7/1 in Europa League) being out injured, same as attacking midfielder Matheus (4/0 in EL) who has some chances to recover in time being currently doubtful.
Italian side surely have much more quality as a side, individual quality, but also huge experience in similar matches. With the fans behind their backs, I really can’t see anything but a home victory that would bring them much closer to securing the grand finale.
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