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Two Red Cards, As Napoli Suffered A Shock Lose 3-2 To Spartak Moscow


Italian club side Napoli suffered a shock defeat and their first loss of the season in a 3-2 home loss to Russia side "Spartak Moscow" in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League game.

The match was marred by hard tackles and two red cards to one player on each team who brought down one of the two Nigerians on the pitch named “Victor”.

Napoli took the lead after only 11 seconds, but Mario Rui was sent off before the half-hour mark, resulting in a tense and chaotic match.

After drawing 2-2 away to Leicester City in their opener, Spalletti selected an almost full-strength lineup for their must-win encounter, though Victor Osimhen started on the bench. Spartak Moscow had lost 1-0 to Legia Warsaw, and former Inter striker Victor Moses was on the pitch alongside ex-Roma striker Ezequiel Ponce.

However, their keeper was to blame for giving the lead to the home side after 11 seconds. Aleksander Maksimenko fumbled a cross under pressure from Matteo Politano and bundled it into the path of Eljif Elmas, although there was no apparent foul or contact.

Andrea Petagna’s effort, which was deflected millimetres wide of the near post after a Giovanni Di Lorenzo knockdown, should have made it 2-0.

The game, however, took a dramatic turn when Mario Rui received a yellow card for a clumsy and ill-advised tackle on Victor Moses. The referee changed his decision after studying it on the VAR monitor and flashed a straight red, reducing Napoli to ten men with an hour left to play.

Di Lorenzo was shoved by Aleksandr Sobolev during the brawl and both were booked, meaning that the Napoli player will be unavailable for the next tie.

Spalletti took an aggressive approach in the second half, bringing on Osimhen and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

But it was Spartak that got an equaliser 10 minutes into the second half, when Moses pulled back from the byline on a corner and found Promes, who drilled in from 12 yards with the help of a deflection off Kalidou Koulibaly.

In the 67th minute, Kostas Manolas thought he had given Napoli the lead with a header from Kevin Malcuit’s cross, but it was ruled offside. Spartak’s Samuel Gigot also missed a few headers from corners, while Osimhen and Lozano were fouled whenever they went on fast counters in the Spartak area.

Then, Spartak turned the game around when Ayrton sprinted down the left flank and pulled the ball across, allowing Mikhail Ignatov to drill into the near bottom corner from the edge of the box to give the visitors the lead.

The match remained heated and tense, with Maximiliano Caufriez receiving his second yellow card for once again bringing Osimhen down cynically nine minutes from regulation time. It meant that late in the game, with Spartak ahead 2-1, both sides were finally reduced to 10 players each after the visitors had been exploiting their numerical advantage for the whole second half.

However, at the stroke of the 90th minute, Spartak found a third goal when Sobolev sprung the offside trap and rolled across for Promes to score his second by drilling a left-footed shot from close range to the top of the left corner.

There was still time for one more Napoli goal and it was a very late strike. Di Lorenzo squared the ball from the right for Osimhen to tap in from a couple of yards.

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