Vargas treble inspires Napoli
Last Updated: 20/09/12 9:02pm
Eduardo Vargas: Scored a hat-trick
Eduardo Vargas struck a superb hat-trick as Serie A side Napoli got their Europa League Group F campaign off to a flying start with a 4-0 victory over AIK in Italy.
The 22-year-old Chilean striker opened the scoring in the sixth minute to set up a stunning solo show which was then rounded off by Blerim Dzemaili's fourth for his side in injury time.
But it was not all good news for Walter Mazzarri's men, who had substitute Marek Hamsik sent off in the 74th minute for a violent reaction to a foul from AIK's Nils-Eric Johansson.
The hosts, unbeaten in domestic action so far this season, were ahead soon after kick-off when Valon Behrami's long ball found Vargas who shot low past Ivan Turina from six yards.
But AIK responded well with Kwame Karikari heading over after 12 minutes, then Mohamed Bangura shooting over the bar from 25 yards as the Swedes began to play with confidence.
And they came agonisingly close to an equaliser on 33 minutes when Bangura's left-foot shot from the edge of the six-yard box was brilliantly tipped round the post by Napoli keeper Antonio Rosati.
Celso Borges drilled a shot wide for the visitors then Rosati was back in action five minutes later, producing another fantastic save to stop a long-range effort by Helgi Danielsson.
AIK's pressure came to nothing though, and one minute after the re-start half-time substitute Hamsik fed Vargas to fire home his second goal of the night from 12 yards.
Bangura continued to look dangerous for the visitors but Vargas completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute when he slotted home after another neat assist from Hamsik.
Hamsik was dismissed shortly afterwards in an incident that also saw Johansson booked for unsporting behaviour, and the Swedes continued to press with Borges trying an ambitious shot from long range.
But the Serie A side held firm and even managed to round off a strong performance by making it 4-0 in injury time when Dzemaili shot home high past Turina.