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

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
1Napoli21173145133254
2Juventus21172250153553
3Lazio20134353252843
4Inter Milan21127236162043
5Roma20124431151640
6Sampdoria2010373930933
7AC Milan219482728-131
8Atalanta BCAtalanta218673127430
9Torino2161142928129
10Udinese209293428629
11Fiorentina217773024628
12Bologna2183102630-427
13AC Chievo VeronaChievo215792137-1622
14SassuoloSassuolo2164111431-1722
15Genoa2156101623-721
16CagliariCagliari2162131933-1420
17Crotone2153131638-2218
18SPALSPAL2137112239-1716
19Hellas VeronaHellas Verona2134141844-2613
20BeneventoBenevento2121181346-337
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