Napoli dominated the Champions League Round of 16 trip to Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring with Victor Osimhen and seeing Kvicha Kvaratskhelia’s penalty saved before the Randal Kolo Muani red card and Giovanni Di Lorenzo strike.
The Partenopei only missed Giacomo Raspadori and chose Mathias Olivera rather than Mario Rui at left-back, while Junior Dina Ebimbe was out and captain Sebastian Rode only fit for the bench of Europa League holders Eintracht.
Alex Meret was tested by Lindstrom’s cross-shot before Randal Kolo Muani flashed a rebound shot across the face of goal, then Napoli had a series of corners, from which Kevin Trapp prevented a Daichi Kamada own goal and pushed Kvicha Kvaratskhelia’s volley into the ground over the bar.
Chucky Lozano thumped a low drive off the base of the upright and Osimhen chased down the loose ball, quicker than Aurelio Buta had realised, so the defender went to clear and instead kicked the Nigerian on the knee for a penalty. Kvaratskhelia stepped up, but Trapp saved the spot-kick. Incredibly, that is the third penalty Napoli have failed to convert in the Champions League this season.
The deadlock was broken soon after, as Stanislav Lobotka intercepted a pass in midfield and sent Lozano down the right, rolling across for Osimhen to tap in from four yards.
Napoli scored a practically identical goal moments later, but this time Osimhen started the run just too early and was offside on the Lozano assist.
After the restart, Lozano twice got away down the right only to make the wrong choice of pass or shoot straight at Trapp, then Kvaratskhelia was denied one-on-one by the goalkeeper after Eintracht had given it away cheaply.
Napoli were dominating and wasting chances, but the hosts went down to 10 men after the referee opted for a straight red card on Kolo Muani. The striker went in late and caught Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa on the ankle, but it seemed a harsh decision, as they both went for the ball. It also means Eintracht’s top scorer will be suspended for the second leg.
They took full advantage with a beautifully-worked goal, Kvaratskhelia’s back-heel flick assist for Giovanni Di Lorenzo to bend it first-time into the far bottom corner from just inside the box.
Anguissa was inches away from adding a third after a give and go with Zielinski, despite being on the ground at the time, while Kamada and Osimhen fired straight at the goalkeepers.
Giovanni Simeone nodded Di Lorenzo’s cross into the arms of Trapp, as Napoli pushed to the end for another goal.
Eintracht 0-2 Napoli
Osimhen 40 (N), Di Lorenzo 65 (N)
Saved penalty: Kvaratskhelia 36 (N)
Sent off: Kolo Muani 58 (E)
|40'||Victor Osimhen |
(Assist: Hirving Lozano)
|Randal Kolo Muani||58'|
|65'||Giovanni Di Lorenzo |
(Assist: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia)