Napoli v Salzburg facts
Napoli finally edged out Salzburg in a five-goal thriller in Austria, and go into their Matchday 4 return fixture looking to cement their place at the top of Group E.
• The Italian club, who ended Salzburg’s 2018/19 European campaign, led three times at the Stadion Salzburg last time out; Dries Mertens’ double was twice cancelled out by Erling Braut Haaland goals, but the home side had no answer to a 73rd-minute winner from substitute Lorenzo Insigne, a goal that ended Salzburg’s 19-match unbeaten home run in UEFA competition.
• Mertens’ first goal in Salzburg was the 1,000th scored in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, by an Italian club.
• Napoli were 4-3 victors in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League in March, doing the damage in the Naples first leg thanks to unanswered goals from Arkadiusz Milik, Fabián Ruiz and a Jérôme Onguéné own goal.
• Milik’s second goal of the tie 14 minutes into the return proved decisive, although Napoli were made to survive a Salzburg revival, goals from Munas Dabbur, Fredrik Gulbrandsen and Christoph Leitgeb proving enough only for a 3-1 victory.
• Late goals from Mertens, a penalty, and substitute Fernando Llorente gave Napoli a 2-0 win against holders Liverpool in their first fixture; they were then held 0-0 at Genk on Matchday 2. The win at Salzburg ended an eight-match sequence without an away victory in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D3 L5).
• Serie A runners-up for the second season running in 2018/19, Napoli are in the group stage for the sixth time – all in the last nine seasons. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17 but have finished third in their section in the other three campaigns.
• Napoli have won only six of their last 17 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D4 L7) – all those victories bar the Matchday 3 success at Salzburg coming at the Stadio San Paolo.
• Having finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in last season’s group stage, Napoli kicked off their UEFA Europa League campaign with a comfortable 5-1 aggregate win against Zürich before edging out Salzburg 4-3 over two legs in the round of 16. They were then eliminated from a second European competition of the season by an English club, however, losing 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals.
• The Partenopei picked up seven of their nine points in last season’s group stage in Naples. Napoli have, however, won only five of their last ten home games in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final; they have lost three in that sequence.
• The Naples club had never faced an Austrian club in UEFA competition before last season’s tie against Salzburg.
• Having not featured in the group stage since 1994/95, Salzburg returned with a bang thanks to a 6-2 win against Genk on Matchday 1, scoring five goals in the first half – only the seventh team to do so in the UEFA Champions League.
• Haaland’s three goals made him the eighth player to score a UEFA Champions League debut hat-trick, and the first to do so in the first half. Aged 19 years 58 days, the Norwegian is the third youngest player to score a UEFA Champions League hat-trick, behind Raúl González (18 years 113 days) and Wayne Rooney (18 years 340 days).
• Salzburg scored another three goals in their second fixture, but conceded four to lose against Liverpool at Anfield. Haaland was also on target in that game, and has six goals in his first three UEFA Champions League appearances – the first player to do so in competition history. The Norwegian tops this season’s goal charts, one ahead of Bayern München’s Robert Lewandowski.
• Salzburg have scored 11 goals in their opening three matches – only Bayern (13) have registered more.
• The Austrian club won a sixth successive Bundesliga title in 2018/19 – their 13th overall – adding the Austrian Cup to complete a domestic double for the sixth time, all since 2011/12. As Austrian champions, Salzburg qualified automatically for the group stage.
• Salzburg’s sole previous UEFA Champions League group stage appearance came in 1994/95, their European Cup debut, when they finished third in a group involving eventual winners Ajax, a Milan side who went on to lose to the Dutch club in the final, and AEK Athens. With two points then awarded for a win, Salzburg picked up five from their six matches, a 3-1 victory away to AEK their sole success.
• Of Salzburg’s seven consecutive eliminations in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds between 2012/13 and 2018/19, three took place in the play-offs, including last season’s defeat against Crvena zvezda (0-0 a, 2-2 h).
• The Austrian club therefore moved into the UEFA Europa League, a competition in which they had reached the semi-finals in 2017/18, and won all six of their group games for the third time – a competition record – to head a section including Celtic, Leipzig and Rosenborg. Marco Rose’s side then beat Belgium’s Club Brugge in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 4-0 h), before bowing out against Napoli.
• Salzburg have therefore lost their last three European away games having suffered only two defeats in the previous 17 (W9 D6).
• Defeat at Liverpool on Matchday 2 ended Salzburg’s seven-match unbeaten run in seven UEFA Champions League away games (W4 D3), all qualifiers, stretching back to a 3-0 loss at Malmö in the 2015/16 third qualifying round second leg.
• Salzburg have won only five of their 17 matches against Italian clubs – last season’s second-leg defeat of Napoli the most recent success – and have avoided defeat in only three of their eight away games (W2 D1).
• Their only European final appearance, in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, ended with them losing both legs 1-0 to Internazionale, and their joint heaviest home European defeat (0-4) came against Parma in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup second round.
Links and trivia
• Two Llorente penalties helped Athletic Club come from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League group stage on 20 October 2011.
• Salzburg’s Enock Mwepu and Patson Daka both scored for Zambia in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying victories against an Algeria side that featured Faouzi Ghoulam of Napoli.
• Daka scored in Zambia’s 3-2 extra-time defeat against Italy in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup quarter-finals; Haaland got Norway’s goal in a 1-1 group stage draw against Italy at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship the following year.
• Have played together:
Amin Younes & Maximilian Wöber (Ajax 2017/18)