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Young Boys 2, Napoli 0 Europa League Match Report: Wasteful and wasted in Switzerland

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Poor discipline and poor reactions cost Napoli dearly as they fell 2-0 to BSC Young Boys.

Valerio Pennicino

That was horrible. There's no sugar-coating this one. Napoli were awful today. They got beat by a side they should have whipped up and down the pitch. Young Boys didn't even look all that good, but they capitalized on two horrific mistakes and won the match.

A heavily-rotated lineup looked fairly disjointed for the partenopei, especially in the attacking midfield band. Dries Mertens looked a step out of sync with everyone else for almost the entire first half, and the pair of Michu and Jonathan De Guzman were their usual mediocre, uninvolved selves. After taking some time to settle in, Napoli started to generate a fair number of chances, but a stellar performance from Yvon Mvogo in goal kept the scoreline knotted at the end of the first half.

The second half started with Napoli looking scattered and disorganized. Napoli switched up their marking of Guillaume Hoarau, who gave Raul Albiol fits in the first half, instead giving the assignment to Henrique. Then, just minutes in to the half, Henrique abandoned Hoarau in the box to close down an already-marked Kubo. A cross aimed at Kubo wound up deflecting straight to Hoarau, who took his time and hammered in a shot low in the far corner, and the Stade de Suisse exploded as the home fans celebrated.

That should have quickly triggered changes in personnel and approach for Napoli, but Rafa Benitez is Rafa Benitez, and the changes were very slow in coming. It was ten minutes before Marek Hamsik was summoned from the bench to replace Michu, who had been utterly anonymous for most of his hour on the pitch, and ineffectual when he was actually involved. Another twelve minutes ticked by before Jose Callejon came on, who strangely replaced Jorginho, who had been Napoli's best player on the day by far.

Another ten minutes passed by and the match was well past the 80th minute, Napoli still scrabbling away ineffectively, before Rafa threw on Gonzalo Higuain for the horribly ineffective Jonathan De Guzman and finally shifted to an all-out attack. More than half an hour had passed after Young Boys scored the opening goal, and with less than ten minutes to play Rafa finally decided it was time to put the pedal to the metal. That's far, far, far too long, and as it wound up, far too late.

Napoli created a bevy of chances, but poor finishing, stellar goalkeeping, and Callejon being offsides seemingly every five seconds kept them from equalizing. Then, a minute in to stoppage time, Gokhan Inler made an awful giveaway that lead to a Young Boys counter attack... and since everyone was up the pitch trying to score, it was only seconds before Rafael was being lobbed and the scoreline was 2-0.

This season just continues to get worse for Napoli. Every time they have a chance to do something great, they go to sleep, lose discipline, or otherwise just play poorly and have a day like this. The fanbase is furious, and rightfully so. This isn't just a slow start, not any more. This is a sustained run of poor performances, and something has to give, and soon.

Young Boys: Mvogo; Sutter, Vilotic, Von Bergen, Lecjaks; Sanogo Junior, Gajic; Steffen (Nicki 90'+3), Kubo (Bertone 71'), Nuzzolo (Rochat 86'); Hoarau

Goals: Houarau 51', Bertone 90'+1

Napoli: Rafael; Maggio, Henrique, Albiol, Ghoulam; Inler, Jorginho (Callejon 74'); Mertens, Michu (Hamsik 62'), De Guzman (Higuain 84'); Zapata

Goals: none