MOSCOW (Reuters) – Spartak Moscow boosted their hopes of reaching the Europa League knockout stages after two goals from striker Aleksandr Sobolev helped them to a 2-1 home win over Napoli in a Group C match played in driving snow on Wednesday.

Spartak top the group on seven points from five games, above Napoli on a better head-to-head record as they completed the double over the Serie A leaders having beaten them 3-2 in the reverse fixture.

Third-placed Legia Warsaw have six points from four games, one more than Leicester City ahead of their visit to the English side on Thursday.

Sobolev fired Spartak ahead with a third-minute penalty and made it 2-0 with a far-post header in the 28th after goalkeeper Aleksandr Selikhov had denied Napoli with three superb stops.

Selikhov thwarted Eljif Elmas with a double save from close range and pawed away Piotr Zielinski’s shot on the turn, having also kept out a fierce Dries Mertens effort early in the second half.

The keeper was powerless in the 64th minute when Elmas beat him with a downward header from six metres after Andrea Petagna chipped a perfect cross into the midfielder.

Livewire Elmas came close to grabbing a 90th-minute equaliser but Selikhov again came out on top as he clawed out his shot, with Spartak hanging on in stoppage time.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond)



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