Napoli sealed their place in the Champions League second round at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday evening as they produced a dominant display on their way to a 4-0 win over Genk.
A first half hat-trick from Arkadiusz Milik and a late Dries Mertens penalty were enough to ensure that Carlo Ancelotti’s squad will continue their quest for a first Champions League title.
Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Salzburg in the other contest of the evening means that the Azzurri finish behind the current Champions League holders in Group E and could now face a tough second round draw with PSG, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona already confirmed as group winners.
The Partenopei took the lead inside three minutes when Kalidou Koulibaly saw his header from a corner crash in to the bar and Genk failed to clear the rebound. A mix-up between Jhon Lucumi and his goalkeeper Maarten Vandervoort gifted Milik with an open goal to give the hosts the lead.
Despite the visitors attempts to get back in to the contest Napoli dominated possession and doubled their advantage on 26-minutes. Giovanni Di Lorenzo found himself unmarked on the right and his wonderfully weighted ball in to the box found Milik who thundered his first time strike past Vandervoort.
As the first-half drew to a close the Partenopei would put the game out of reach when Allan’s ball sent Jose Callejon clean through on goal, only for the on rushing Vandervoort to bring the midfielder to ground inside the box. Milik stepped up to complete his hat-trick from the spot sending Vandervoort the wrong way as he stroked his penalty in to the bottom corner.
With the game all but over as a contest and Genk offering little in the way of attack the game descended in to a stalemate. Carlo Ancelotti’s men continued to dominate possession but Allen and Callejon’s long range shots were the only real moments of entertainment in the first 20-minutes of the second stanza.
A second penalty for the hosts in the final quarter of the game would see them put the result beyond doubt when Callejon’s volley was blocked by the hand of Casper De Norre. This time Mertens stepped up to the plate and he cheekily chipped his penalty straight down the middle to wrap up the victory.