Leicester gave up a two-goal lead as a Victor Osimhen double secured a well-earned 2-2 draw for Napoli in Thursday’s Europa League opener.
Leicester began brightly, and after Harvey Barnes came close to netting an early goal, Ayoze Perez did manage to find the back of the net, thundering home from a cross inside the first ten minutes.
That high tempo continued for the remainder of the first half. Both sides were pressing high and forcing mistakes, with Napoli eventually taking control and having the best chances of the half as Kasper Schmeichel had to pull out some excellent saves to deny Piotr Zielinski and Hirving Lozano.
Napoli maintained the edge after the break, but Leicester almost snatched a second against the run of play after VAR called Patson Daka’s strike back for one of those armpit offsides.
That second goal did come a few minutes later as Harvey Barnes finished off an excellent counter-attack to give Leicester a two-goal lead with 25 minutes to go.
Napoli got themselves back in it just a few minutes later, pulling off an absurd team move which ended in a glorious chip from Osimhen, and the Nigerian popped up with a header three minutes from time to earn Napoli a deserved point.
To rub salt in the wounds, Leicester ended the game with ten men as the otherwise-excellent Wilfred Ndidi was shown his second yellow card in stoppage time.
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 8/10 – Had to be alert to pull off a handful of smart saves. Prevented Leicester from falling two or three behind.
Timothy Castagne (RB) – 7/10 – Made a goal-saving block from Zielinski in the first half and continued to impress defensively. Really aggressive on Lorenzo Insigne.
Jonny Evans (CB) – 6/10 – Did all his defending fairly well but was absolutely battered by Victor Osimhen’s pace all night long. Brought off at the break.
Jannik Vestergaard (CB) – 5/10 – Equally as mauled by Osimhen’s athleticism but slightly more uncomfortable under pressure. Far too weak for Napoli’s opener.
Ryan Bertrand (LB) – 5/10 – Needed more help from Barnes at the back. Visibly shaky and was a little overloaded when Napoli started flowing.
Wilfred Ndidi (DM) – 7/10 – Impressive defensively but picked up an early yellow card and was clearly reluctant to throw himself at anything after that. Got himself sent off in stoppage time for an inevitable second yellow.
Ayoze Perez (CM) – 7/10 – His first goal in 15 games. Showed real energy in attack and took his goal well, although didn’t offer the creativity needed as a midfielder and was taken off at half-time.
Boubakary Soumare (CM) – 5/10 – Found it hard to get involved. A little overzealous defensively and looked hesitant to involve himself in attack.
Patson Daka (RW) – 6/10 – Felt a little isolated out of position on the wing. Drifted inside after the break and came agonisingly close to getting his goal.
Kelechi Iheanacho (ST) – 6/10 – Tasked with roaming around trying to bring those around him into the game. Did a decent job but seemed determined not to shoot.
Harvey Barnes (LW) – 8/10 – Excellent in attack. A brilliant cross for Perez’s opener and took his own goal with perfect composure. Showed an end product that hasn’t always been there.
Caglar Soyuncu (CB) – 4/10 – Brought on to deal with Osimhen’s pace and did a marginally better job at that, but his arrival coincided with a noticeable drop in performance from the Foxes’ backline..
Youri Tielemans (CM) – 4/10 – Didn’t offer the control or composure that he was brought on to provide. Struggled under pressure and was guilty of giving the ball away for Napoli’s opener. Really off the boil.
Ademola Lookman (RW) – 6/10 – Some bright flashes on the ball during his short spell on the pitch.
James Maddison (CM) – 6/10 – Came on too late to make any real difference.
Jamie Vardy (ST) – N/A