Arkadiusz Milik netted twice to help Napoli come from behind and record a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev in their Champions League Group B opener at NSK Olimpiyskiy on Tuesday.
Napoli spent €32 million to lure the Poland international away from Ajax following the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus and Milik has not wasted any time making an impact at his new club.
He opened his Napoli account with a double in the 4-2 Serie A win over AC Milan in August and made it four from as many appearances in all competitions versus Kiev.
Milik scored his first goal of the game when he cancelled out Denys Garmash’s opener following a fine cross from Faouzi Ghoulam, before netting his and Napoli’s second shortly before the break with another header.
Kiev pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half, but they lacked the individual quality to really worry Napoli and their task became all but impossible when Serhiy Sydorchuk received his second yellow card for diving, the Serie A side holding on to their lead without any real problems.
Dynamo nearly got off to a flying start as Sydorchuk’s ambitious attempt from the half-way line just 41 seconds after kick-off surprised Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina. The midfielder tried his luck from inside the Napoli half following some sloppy play from Raul Albiol and Reina spotted the danger just in time to push the ball over his crossbar for a corner.
Kiev did go a goal up in the 26th minute via Garmash, though. Viktor Tsygankov did well to head Andriy Yarmolenko’s cross from the right back across goal and Garmash beat Reina with an acrobatic half-volley to open the scoring.
Napoli had struggled to create any chances of note, but equalised with their first attempt on target in the 36th minute via Milik. Ghoulam sent in a superb cross after charging down the left and the Poland international rose highest to head past shot stopper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.
Milik’s equaliser proved to be an instant boost for Maurizio Sarri’s men and the Poland international doubled his tally in the dying seconds of the first half with another header. Dries Mertens’ attempt from close range after Jose Callejon’s cross was cleared off the goal-line, but Milik found himself in the right position to head the ball over Shovkovskiy and make it 2-1.
The hosts pushed for the equaliser after the interval, but it was Napoli that were the more dangerous side of the two, with Mertens nearly making it three with a low shot that hit the upright after cutting inside from the left.
Dynamo’s task became more difficult when referee William Collum dismissed Sydorchuk in the 68th minute. The midfielder had received his first yellow card early in the game for a reckless challenge and got booked again mid-way through the second half for simulation after he claimed to have been brought down inside the area by Albiol.
Dynamo threatened sporadically from set pieces in the remainder of the game, but Napoli held on to their lead with relative ease as they returned home with an important away win to start their campaign.