Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:49 pm
Gonzalo Higuaín and Romelu Lukaku were in inspired form in the come-from-behind wins for Napoli and Everton respectively in a couple of UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg matches played on Thursday.
In Italy, former Real Madrid striker Higuaín scored a hattrick as Napoli came from a goal down to claim a 3-1 win at home to Dynamo Moscow.
Kevin Kuranyi had given the Russian visitors a second minute lead at the San Paolo, but a Higuaín brace in six minutes midway through the first half turned the match in Napoli’s favour.
The Argentine international completed his hattrick 10 minutes into the second half to seal a two-goal advantage in the tie for Rafael Benitez’s side.
Meanwhile at Goodison Park, Lukaku set up Steven Naismith before himself scoring with a penalty eight minutes from time to seal a comeback 2-1 win for Everton over Dynamo Kyiv.
Oleh Gusev gave the Ukrainians a 14th minute lead but goals from Naismith six minutes before half-time and a late penalty struck down the middle from Lukaku gave Everton a slight advantage going into the deciding leg of the encounter.
In other round of 16 first leg matches played, Vitolo scored the fastest ever Europa League goal after 13 seconds to help reigning champions Sevilla claim a 3-1 win at Spanish La Liga rivals Villarreal while Italian rivals Fiorentina and AS Roma played out a 1-1 draw in Firenze.