Football

Napoli and Fiorentina eliminated from Europa League

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After Juventus' success in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Italian football was on a high in Europe and all eyes turned to the Europa League as Napoli and Fiorentina both represented Serie A on Thursday.

However, it was a crash down to reality for Italian football fans as both their sides suffered eliminations at the Semi-Final stages.

Italian football has been heavily criticised in recent years and has been guilty of under-performing in European competitions, but this year there was a real chance of having two, maybe three Serie A teams in finals across the Champions League and Europa League.

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So with Napoli and Fiorentina both in action in the Semi-Final of the Europa League, there was a real chance of an all-Italian final, but those hopes were damaged due to a Spanish side and a Ukrainian team.

Fiorentina Semi-Final

For Fiorentina, their hopes of reaching the Europa League Final were all-but over due to the first-leg result.

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The Viola faced last year's winners Sevilla in the final-four stages and with the first leg in Spain, Fiorentina knew they had to come away with a respectable result to stand any chance of progressing through to the final.

However, the tie was all-but over after 90-minutes as the reigning champions strolled to a 3-0 victory in their own backyard, leaving Fiorentina with a massive task to turn the game around in the return leg a week later.

With the game and the tie basically over, the Italian side knew it was a big ask for them to progress to the final, but things only got worse for them as they fell to another defeat in the second-leg in Italy.

A 2-0 loss to Sevilla was enough for the Spanish side to progress 5-0 on aggregate.

Napoli Semi-Final

The real hope for Italian football laid in Napoli's hands after they beat competition favourites Wolfsburg in the previous round.

Rafael Benitez's side were drawn against Ukrainian team Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and were firm favourites to progress to the final.

However, after struggling in the first-leg at home, Napoli had a massive ask to go to Ukraine and win the tie. The first leg ended in Naples 1-1.

In the second-leg, it only took one goal to seal the tie and that came in the 59th minute when Yevhen Seleznyov headed home for the hosts to eliminate Napoli 2-1 on aggregate.

So after Juve's success on Wednesday, Italian football got a harsh reality check the night after with both their sides falling short in the Europa League.

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Topics:
Football
Europa League
Serie A

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