Rafael Benitez’s Napoli all but booked their place in the Europa League semifinals with a stunning 4-1 win over Wolfsburg in Germany on Thursday night. Gonzalo Higuain’s half-volley, two crisp finishes from Marek Hamsik and Manolo Gabbiadini’s header put the Italians on the verge of the last four. Nicklas Bendtner grabbed a late consolation for the hosts, but they looked a completely different side to the one which brushed aside Inter Milan in the last round. The Germans had already eliminated Inter in the last round and the Partenopei had never won a competitive game in Germany, managing just five draws from 10 attempts. Juan Camilo Zuniga missed out with no room on the bench for Duvan Zapata or Jonathan de Guzman. Naldo returned from suspension, but Aaron Hunt had a knee injury.Benitez has previously won the competition with Chelsea and Valencia and, with this season’s victors qualifying for the Champions League, may need to lift the trophy again if […]

Fiorentina tore apart their Italian rivals Roma to reach the Europa League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win that left their opponentsa season in tatters and their under-fire coach Rudi Garc a on the brink of the sack. The home side were 3-0 down before the match had settled into any sort of rhythm as Gonzalo Rodr guez, Marcos Alonso and Jos Mar a Basanta all found the net in a breathless opening 22 minutes on their way to a 4-1 aggregate victory. The win made it a night to remember for the Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella against a club where he spent 10 years as a player and also had a spell as caretaker manager. But it was a miserable occasion for Garc a. The Roma coach said this week he would step aside the moment he felt he was becoming a burden to his team. The matter, however, may now be out of his hands given his sidea s […]