Granada secured a historic result in on Thursday evening in Naples. Even though they lost 2-1 to Napoli in the Europa League last 32 second leg, they went through 3-2 on aggregate thanks to their 2-0 triumph in Granada last week.
Napoli kicked off at the Diego Armando Maradona with ominous intent, scoring after just three minutes through Piotr Zielinksi. Angel Montoro scored a crucial away goal 22 minutes later, however, to steady the Andalusians nerves, only for Fabian to score a minute shy of the hour mark to set up a nervy finish.
Granada were promoted to La Liga in the 2018/19 season, playing a refreshing brand of football under up-and-coming young coach Diego Martinez. They finished seventh last season to qualify for European football for the first time in their history, and have now entered uncharted territory by breaking into the last 16 of the competition at Napoli’s expense.
One man who wasn’t happy for them, however, was Napoli coach Genaro Gattuso. “In the first half we didn’t get to play for 17 minutes, in each play Granada wasted two or three,” he said in comments carried by Marca. “If an Italian team behaved like them, the next day it would be in all the newspapers in Europe. Too little was played, it was evident. More respect is needed.”