Wolfsburg, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Napoli took a major step toward reaching the Europa League semifinals by cruising to a 4-1 victory over Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Thursday.
The visitors hit for two goals in the span of eight first-half minutes as Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring in the 15th minute, taking a long pass over the top of the Wolfsburg defense and hammering home a finish from the center of the box.
Higuain turned provider shortly after, laying a splendid cross into a dangerous area for Marek Hamsik to slot home with a first-time finish.
Hamsik extended Napoli's lead in the 64th minute when Jose Callejon pounced on a giveaway from the Wolfsburg defense slid a pass in front of goal for the Slovakia international to tuck home with ease.
Napoli made it four in the 77th minute when Manolo Gabbiadini nodded home a cross from the left flank, and while Nicklas Bendtner managed to pull one back for Wolfsburg three minutes later, the Bundesliga club's task of advancing looks dire due to the three-goal deficit and Napoli's four away goals.
Sevilla also jumped out to a lead after picking up a 2-1 home victory over Zenit St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Aleksandr Ryazantsev handed Zenit a shock lead in the 29th minute, but the La Liga club rallied for the win thanks to goals from Carlos Bacca and Denis Suarez in the final 17 minutes.
Fiorentina also received a late goal to help the Italian side earn a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday.
Jeremain Lens put the hosts in front in the 36th minute, but Khouma Babacar struck at the death to see the two sides finish level.
Also on Thursday, Club Brugge and Dnipro finish even in Belgium, 0-0.