Sep 18, 2014 at 8.05pm UK at ​Stadio San Paolo
Napoli
3-1
Sparta Prague
Higuain (23' pen.), Mertens (51', 81')
Mertens (66')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Husbauer (14')
Nhamoinesu (22'), Bednar (93')

Gonzalo Higuain relieved to help Napoli back to form

Napoli's Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain (C) celebrates after scoring a penalty during the UEFA Europa League Group I football match against Sparta Prague on September 18, 2014
© Getty Images
Gonzalo Higuain admits that it was relief to return to form as Napoli beat Sparta Prague 3-1 on Thursday.

Gonzalo Higuain has revealed his relief after playing his part in a 3-1 victory over Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday night.

After falling behind early on against their Russian rivals, it looked like Rafael Benitez's side were on their way to a second successive defeat following Sunday's loss to Chievo.

However, Higuain recovered from missing a penalty in that match to score from the spot before the interval, and Dries Mertens added a brace to help Napoli to three points.

"After Sunday's defeat we had to prove to our fans that we wanted to win and that we wanted these three points," the Argentine forward told Mediaset Premium. "It was an important game, we had to show our character.

"Last year we played in a lot of big games late in the season and this year we want to repeat that. I shot my penalty in the same direction as I did on Sunday - I was not thinking about another mistake but only to score."

Napoli return to action against Udinese on Sunday.

Napoli's Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain (C) celebrates after scoring a penalty during the UEFA Europa League Group I football match against Sparta Prague on September 18, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AC Chievo VeronaChievo00000000
2AC Milan00000000
3Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
4BeneventoBenevento00000000
5Bologna00000000
6CagliariCagliari00000000
7Crotone00000000
8Fiorentina00000000
9Genoa00000000
10Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
11Inter Milan00000000
12Juventus00000000
13Lazio00000000
14Napoli00000000
15Roma00000000
16SPALSPAL00000000
17Sampdoria00000000
18SassuoloSassuolo00000000
19Torino00000000
20Udinese00000000