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A dramatic Champions League group stage clash in Naples swung one way and then the other as Real Madrid fought back to win 3-2 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. The five goal thriller in the south of Italy produced plenty of talking points from controversial penalties to brilliant goals.
Napoli vs Real Madrid: Timeline
- 1 Napoli vs Real Madrid: Timeline
- 2 Napoli vs Real Madrid player ratings: Star Player
- 3 Napoli vs Real Madrid player ratings: Hosts fail to build on early Second Half dominance
- 4 Resilient Rudiger helps Real Madrid over the line
- 5 The Final Word
6’ – Jude Bellingham releases Rodrygo who races in behind the Napoli defence for the first big chance of the game, but he can only fire straight at Alex Meret.
19’ (Goal) – Kepa misses his punch as Natan’s effort bounces back off the crossbar to his central defensive partner Leo Skiri Østigard who heads into an unguarded net.
27’ (Goal) – A quick response from Real Madrid as Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s misplaced pass allows Bellingham to release Vini who keeps his cool to finish past Meret.
34’ (Goal) – Brilliant from Bellingham. The England man picks the ball up in the centre of the park and drives straight through the heart of the Napoli defence before firing past Meret.
39’ – Kepa makes amends for his earlier error with a fine save to deny Osimhen.
54’ (Goal) – After a VAR review, Nacho is controversially adjudged to have handled in the penalty area and Piotr Zielinski fires in the penalty off the post to level the scores.
74’ – Bellingham is presented with a golden chance to add his second but can only head wide from close range.
78’ (Goal) – Valverde’s thunderous drive ricochets back off the crossbar but hits the diving Napoli keeper on the back and bounces in!
The Big Stat
Bellingham on the path to greatness
In a stadium named after one of the all-time greats, Jude Bellingham scored a goal that Diego Maradona would have been proud of as he ripped through the Napoli defence with a brilliant run and finish.
He’s only the third Real Madrid player to score in his first two Champions League appearances and the first since a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
2 – Jude Bellingham is the third player to score in his first two games for Real Madrid in the @ChampionsLeague, after Christian Karembeu in 1998 and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 3, 2023
Napoli vs Real Madrid player ratings: Star Player
Jude Bellingham – 8.60
While it’s true that he was less influential after the break, Jude Bellingham was again the player to have the biggest influence on the game with an assist and a goal inside the space of seven First Half minutes.
He completed 3 dribbles in total, the most by any player in the game with the exception of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Napoli vs Real Madrid player ratings: Hosts fail to build on early Second Half dominance
Napoli will leave the game with mixed feelings. They competed well against the competition’s most successful ever club but will look back on moments where they were on top but failed to make Real Madrid pay.
They were particularly dominant in the opening part of the Second Half and briefly looked the team more likely to win the game after Piotr Zielinski’s penalty, before the Spanish side enjoyed greater territory and possession after the introduction of Luka Modric.
Napoli player ratings
Alex Meret 6/10 – Credited with a freak own goal but nothing he could do about it.
Mathias Olivera 7/10 – Provided good support on the left flank for Kvaratskhelia.
Natan 6/10 – Exposed at times by the pace of Rodrygo.
Leo Skiri Østigard 6/10 – Opened the scoring for the hosts and also went close to a dramatic Stoppage Time leveller but much less assured defensively.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo 5/10 – Bad mistake from the Napoli captain led to the Real Madrid equaliser.
Piotr Zielinski 7/10 – A well taken penalty from the Polish midfielder levelled the scores at 2-2.
Stanislav Lobotka 6/10 – A steady showing from the midfielder.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa 6/10 – Struggled to impose himself on the game.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 7/10 – Classy player. Caused problems with his quick feet and quick thinking throughout.
Victor Osimhen 7/10 – Grew into the game and forced the controversial penalty early in the Second Half.
Matteo Politano 5/10 – The least threatening of Napoli’s front three.
Eljif Elmas (sub) 6/10 – Found some space after coming on in the Second Half but let down by his final ball.
Giacomo Raspadori (sub) N/A
Jens-Lys Cajuste (sub) N/A
Giovanni Simeone (sub) N/A
Mario Rui (sub) N/A
Resilient Rudiger helps Real Madrid over the line
Real Madrid knew they were in for a battle against the Italian champions and Antionio Rudiger embodied the spirit that was needed to win. He did a good job of limiting the impact of Napoli dangerman Victor Osimhen with some key interventions while the game was level.
While Los Blancos were fortunate with the manner of the winning goal, they’ll feel as though they should have still been ahead after having a penalty unfairly given against them.
Real Madrid player ratings
Kepa Arrizabalaga 6/10 – Failed to properly deal with the cross which led to Napoli’s opener.
Dani Carvajal 6/10 – A tough gig up against Kvaratskhelia meant he was less advanced than usual.
Nacho 6/10 – Very unfortunate to have a penalty given against him.
Antonio Rudiger 8/10 – Relished the battle with Osimhen and frequently came out on top.
Eduardo Camavinga 6/10 – A surprise inclusion at left-back in place of Fran Garcia who had been expected to play.
Aurelien Tchouameni 7/10 – Helped out his defence with 6 aerial challenges won, the joint most in the game.
Fede Valverde 7/10 – A relatively quiet match until his late long-range screamer bounced in off the keeper.
Toni Kroos 7/10 – Opened up the game with some excellent mid-range passes in the First Half but faded from the game after the break.
Jude Bellingham 9/10 – An assist and a brilliant goal for the midfielder who continues to flourish in a Real Madrid shirt.
Vini Junior 7/10 – Still adapting to his new central role but took his goal well.
Rodrygo 6/10 – Early miss ensures the Brazilian’s goal drought continues.
Luka Modric (sub) 7/10 or N/A – His introduction almost immediately helped Real Madrid regain control in midfield.
Ferland Mendy (sub) 6/10 – A steady half hour from the Frenchman.
Joselu (sub) N/A
Dani Ceballos (sub) N/A
The Final Word
The result leaves Real Madrid on six points and already looking very much on course for a place in the knockout stage. For Napoli, it’s a setback but not a disaster. They are still 2nd, level on points with Braga who upset Union Berlin in the other game on Tuesday night.
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