Napoli gave Real Madrid a tough game with Leo Ostigard and Piotr Zielinski replying to Vinicius and Jude Bellingham, but a Federico Valverde screamer that ricocheted off the bar and Alex Meret proved decisive.
The Partenopei were rediscovering their form and confidence after some shaky results and Osimhen’s rage at the TikTok videos, with Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus and Pierluigi Gollini still out of action. Carlo Ancelotti returned to his old club without David Alaba, Arda Guler, Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois, but again left Luka Modric on the bench and brought in Rodrygo rather than Joselu.
Rodrygo stung Alex Meret’s gloves at the near post in the opening minutes, but it was Napoli who took the lead from a chaotic corner. Kepa Arrizabalaga was all at sea on the Kvicha Kvaratskhelia cross, Natan saw his looping header bounce off the top of the crossbar and Leo Ostigard was ready to nod in the rebound. It was his first Champions League goal just days after his first in Serie A.
Piotr Zielinski’s effort was deflected inches wide, but Real Madrid were gifted the equaliser when Jude Bellingham intercepted a square Giovanni Di Lorenzo pass and set up Vinicius to stroke home with the inside of the boot.
Vinicius also had another shot deflected over after skipping past two, but Bellingham turned the game around with a sensational slalom past Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa and Ostigard for the delicate finish.
Victor Osimhen thought he had equalised when towering above Antonio Rudiger to meet the Matteo Politano cross, but the header was palmed away by Kepa.
Nacho went into a sliding block on Osimhen at the by-line and after a very long VAR review, the referee decided to award a penalty. It was a harsh call, especially as the ball came off his shin first and then struck the arm in a fairly natural position. Nonetheless, once again Osimhen left the spot-kick duties and Zielinski scored off the inside of the upright.
It sparked the hosts into life again and Kvaratskhelia’s strong run set up Zielinski for a shot beaten away from the edge of the box, then the Georgian and Anguissa both skimmed the upright from distance.
Meret only parried the Vinicius attempt from a corner and Bellingham couldn’t keep the rebound on target, but Real Madrid restored their advantage with a big stroke of luck.
The ferocious Federico Valverde strike from a huge distance came off the crossbar, ricocheted onto the back of Meret’s head and into the net.
Napoli poured forward throughout stoppages, but were unable to get it back on track, Kepa plucking a cross off the head of Osimhen.
Napoli 2-3 Real Madrid
Ostigard 19 (N), Vinicius 27 (M), Bellingham 34 (M), Zielinski pen 54 (N), Meret og 78 (M)
|27'||Vinícius Júnior |
(Assist: Jude Bellingham)
|34'||Jude Bellingham |
(Assist: Eduardo Camavinga)