Osimhen shines with brace Ndidi sees red in Leicester/Napoli thrilling 2-2 draw

Osimhen shines with brace Ndidi sees red in Leicester/Napoli thrilling 2-2 draw
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Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen was the hero of the night as his brace rescued Napoli from the jaw of defeat at the King Power Stadium where they secure valuable 2-2 draw against former Premiership Champions, Leicester City.

The attacking duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Paston Daka started well but Leicester gave up a two-goal lead as a Victor Osimhen double secured a well-earned draw for Napoli in yesterday’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.

Elsewhere, the duo of Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo are in the starting eleven for Rangers FC but coach Steven Gerrard’s 50th European match as a manager ended in defeat as the team lost at home to Lyon.

Having reached the last 16 in each of the previous two Europa League campaigns, Rangers were looking to make home advantage count against what look set to be their toughest rivals in Group A.

But Lyon – whose previous European match was a Champions League semi-final defeat to Bayern Munich in 2020 – had too much quality yesterday.

Karl Toko Ekambi’s 23rd-minute stunner put Lyon ahead, with James Tavernier’s own goal condemning Rangers to their first ever Europa League group stage defeat at Ibrox.

Connor Goldson could easily have been dismissed for a reckless challenge on Toko Ekambi in the 13th minute as Lyon settled quicker, though the visiting forward showed no signs of being hindered with an exceptional opener.

Having been given time to approach the area, Toko Ekambi fooled John Lundstram with some fine footwork before curling a sublime finish across Allan McGregor and into the bottom-right corner.

Joe Aribo stinging the palms of Anthony Lopes sparked the home crowd into life, and Lundstram almost atoned for his part in Lyon’s opener with a low strike that flashed inches wide.

Lopes had to be at his best to keep Ryan Kent, though Islam Slimani might have put Lyon 2-0 up on the stroke of half-time had he connected with Malo Gusto’s cross.

Yet Lyon struck again early in the second half. Rangers were cut open by Lucas Paqueta’s pass and though Slimani’s effort was blocked, the rebound bounced in off the unfortunate Tavernier.

Tavernier was inches away from dragging Rangers back into it with a superb free-kick, only for the post to come to Lyon’s rescue as Gerrard’s milestone match in Europe proved a disappointing one

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