SSC Napoli’s journey in the Europa League this season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. The team started off strong, with convincing wins in the group stage against opponents like Leicester City and Legia Warsaw. However, they faced a setback in the round of 32, losing to Granada CF 3-2 on aggregate. The second leg of that tie was particularly disappointing, as Napoli failed to capitalize on numerous scoring chances and ultimately fell short.
But the team refused to give up, and they bounced back in the best possible way. In the round of 16, they faced Dynamo Kyiv and absolutely dominated the Ukrainian side, winning both legs by a combined score of 8-0. It was a statement victory that showed just how dangerous Napoli can be when they’re firing on all cylinders.
Their next opponents were Arsenal, a team with plenty of European pedigree. The first leg was a tight affair, with both sides creating chances but failing to convert. The second leg, however, was a different story. Napoli came out swinging and took the lead through a Lorenzo Insigne goal. Despite some nervy moments towards the end of the game, the Partenopei held on to secure a famous victory and a place in the semi-finals.
Their opponents in the last four were Spanish side Villarreal, and it proved to be another tough test for Gennaro Gattuso’s men. The first leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica ended in a 2-1 defeat, with Napoli unable to fully capitalize on their dominance in the second half. The second leg at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona was a different story, however. Piotr Zielinski opened the scoring for Napoli, and although Gerard Moreno equalized for the visitors, Insigne’s second-half penalty was enough to send the home side through on away goals.
And so, SSC Napoli find themselves in the final of the Europa League, where they will face Premier League side Manchester United. It’s a chance for the Italian side to claim their first European trophy since Diego Maradona inspired them to victory in the UEFA Cup back in 1989. Can they do it? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure – it’s been a thrilling ride so far.