Hauge strikes as Milan edge 10-man Sparta

Napoli hold off Dinamo Moscow in draw to reach quarterfinals


Napoli are through to the quarterfinals of the Europa League after a hard-fought goalless draw against Dinamo Moscow in Russia.

The Italians held a 3-1 lead from the first leg and that proved sufficient as they survived a second-leg onslaught from Stanislav Cherchesov's men.

Napoli hit the woodwork twice in the early stages as they looked to put the tie to bed but neither side could break the deadlock.

There was a lively start with both sides creating half chances but the first real opportunity fell to Napoli as Dries Mertens drilled a shot against the crossbar in the 11th minute.

And just four minutes later the Russians were saved by the goal-frame again as Jose Maria Callejon hit the post, this time from inside the penalty area.

It was end-to-end encounter and Dinamo thought they were ahead in the 17th minute when Chris Samba powered home a header from Mathieu Valbuena's cross but the big centre-half was offside.

And four minutes later they were denied by the assistant's flag again as Kevin Kuranyi's ball was chested in by Aleksandr Kokorin on the edge of the six-yard box but the striker barely celebrated as he realised he was well out of position.

Mertens brought a save from Vladimir Gabulov and Valbuena had a chance down the other end as the half ticked down but neither side could find the breakthrough before the break.

Dinamo looked eager to get forward straight after after half-time and Kokorin had a chance in the 47th minute but Mariano Andujar was on hand to tip his close-range volley over the bar.

Gonzalo Higuain was then offered a chance for Napoli but could not get his lob to drop under the bar before Balazs Dzsudzsak went straight down the other end and brought a comfortable save from Andujar.

Valbuena's jinking run then ended with a disappointing tame near-post shot and, while the home side were dominating, they could not find a way through.

They were doing most of their attacking down the left but the best chance for Dinamo came from the right with 20 minutes remaining as William Vainqueur's cross found Kuranyi six yards out but he could not keep his header down.

You got the sense that after that dominant spell that the chance may have gone for the Russians and so it proved, with Higuain blazing over for Napoli as the match wound down.

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