Lavezzi nets double as Napoli take first leg advantage

    Ezequiel Lavezzi scores the second of his two goals to give Napoli a vital Champions League advantage over Chelsea.

    Story highlights

    • Ezequiel Lavezzi nets a double as Napoli come from behind to defeat Chelsea 3-1 in Italy
    • Edinson Cavani scores Napoli's other goal after Juan Mata had given Chelsea the lead
    • The result means England are in danger of having no teams in the Champions League last eight
    Ezequiel Lavezzi scored twice and strike partner Edinson Cavani also found the net as Napoli recovered from going a goal behind to beat Chelsea 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
    After Arsenal's 4-0 thumping in Milan last week, Chelsea had an ideal opportunity to restore some pride for English clubs against Serie A opposition.
    And they got off to a superb start on a wet evening in southern Italy, by taking a 27th-minute lead.
    Dean Sturridge broke on the right for the visitors but his ball into the penalty area should have been dealt with by the Napoli defense.
    However, Paolo Cannavaro sliced his attempted clearance up in the air and Spanish international Juan Mata was lurking behind the defender to side-foot his shot past goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.
    However, both defenses looked vulnerable in difficult conditions and it was no surprise when the home side leveled just 11 minutes later.
    Argentine striker Lavezzi collected the ball on the edge of the box and jinked inside Chelsea's Raul Meireles before curling a sublime shot into the corner of Peter Cech's net.
    And, Napoli completed their turnaround in stoppage time at the end of the first half when Gokhan Inler's deep cross was bundled home by Cavani, who had drifted in behind the Chelsea defense.
    Both sides wasted opportunities to score in an end-to-end second half, but it was Napoli who found the net again with a third goal in the 65th minute.
    David Luiz failed to deal with a long ball out of the Napoli defense and allowed Cavani to nip ahead of him. The Uruguayan did superbly to steady himself and slide the ball across for the on-rushing Lavezzi to stroke him his second to double Napoli's lead.
    A poor night for Chelsea could have become worse late on, when Ashley Cole's goalline clearance deprived Christian Maggio of scoring a fourth goal which would surely have sealed Napoli's qualification into the quarterfinals.
    Chelsea have now gone five matches without a victory as speculation continues over the future of under-pressure manager Andre Villas Boas.
    And the result also means the very real possibility of no English sides reaching the last eight of the competition for the first time since 1996.