Napoli claimed their first win in nine attempts against Spanish opposition on Thursday evening, picking up a big 1-0 win away at Real Sociedad in their Europa League clash to end the Spaniards’ winning run at four.
The Partenopei hadn’t beaten a LaLiga Santander side since getting the better of Villarreal in the 2011/12 Champions League group stage.
La Real had more room for error coming into the game after winning their opener against Rijeka, while Napoli were in desperate need of three points having fallen to a shock loss against AZ Alkmaar at the Stadio San Paolo a week earlier.
The first half was relatively cagey, as was perhaps to be expected given the Basques had kept five clean sheets already this season and Napoli’s defence is strong too.
Napoli got their coveted breakthrough 10 minutes into the second half through the in-form Matteo Politano. Having been given the ball by Tiemoue Bakayoko, the Italian drove towards the area in his usual fashion and released a fierce shot at goal which, courtesy of a deflection, wrong-footed Alex Remiro to find the back of the net.
Portu came close to levelling for La Real only for David Ospina to pull off a fine save to turn his strike wide.
Substitute and Napoli’s record signing Victor Osimhen thought he had killed things off in the final few minutes after heading a Mario Rui freekick home, but the goal was chalked off as the full-back had hit the ball off his standing foot and was penalised for a double touch of the ball.
Osimhen was sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence, despite having just come on for the final third of the match.