Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli fought hard at the Bernabeu, initially taking the lead through Giovanni Simeone, but the 4-2 defeat to Real Madrid still leaves them on the verge of qualification for the last 16.

Fortunately, SC Braga were held to a 1-1 draw by Union Berlin, so as long as they avoid defeat in the final meeting with the Portuguese side, the Partenopei are through.

The ‘new’ coach made his debut with a Serie A victory away to Atalanta and came to the Bernabeu without injured Jesper Lindstrom, Mario Rui or Mathias Olivera, while Victor Osimhen was only fit for the bench. Carlo Ancelotti missed Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Guler, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Eder Militao and Aurelien Tchouameni.

It was Napoli who broke the deadlock when Kvicha Kvaratskhelia floated a ball to the back post, Giovanni Di Lorenzo volleyed it from the by-line and Simeone was ready to tap in. Andrey Lunin got a hand to it, but not enough to prevent the ball crossing the line.

However, within 90 seconds Real Madrid had equalised when Brahim Diaz surged forward and found Rodrygo to cut inside and blast into the far top corner.

Rodrygo should’ve turned it around completely, only to balloon over after a give and go with Dani Carvajal.

Jude Bellingham took care of it instead with a free header on the David Alaba ball placed over the top after a long period of possession.

Simeone stung Lunin’s gloves and Piotr Zielinski saw a strike deflected just over the bar, while on the stroke of half-time a crucial Ferland Mendy block prevented Simeone sliding on to the Di Lorenzo assist from six yards.

Osimhen was introduced for the second half and Napoli got back on level terms. Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa completed a give and go with Di Lorenzo down the right, his first attempt was charged down, but the second was smashed it across Lunin with the right boot from a tricky angle.

Osimhen was waiting for the pass to tap in after a counter, but Federico Valverde got back for the decisive interception on Kvaratskhelia’s roll across.

Kvaratskhelia’s first touch also let him down at the back post on Di Lorenzo’s cross, but Real Madrid wasted a huge opportunity when Joselu somehow bundled over from point-blank range on Mendy’s assist.

Zielinski was forced off after a horrible Antonio Rudiger high tackle left him with a stud mark on his thigh, without even a yellow card to show for it, and Osimhen had the ball in the net after wandering offside on the Matteo Politano pass.

Alex Meret made a great reaction save on the Rudiger header, then stuck out a foot to deny Bellingham one-on-one when sent clear on goal, Joselu failing to keep the rebound in.

After those sensational saves, Meret instead let in the easiest shot, as Nicolas Paz unleashed a long-range effort that bounced just in front of him and squirmed into the near bottom corner.

Joselu added a fourth in stoppages after several ugly misses, as Bellingham laid it on a silver platter for him at the back post.

Real Madrid 4-2 Napoli

Simeone 9 (N), Rodrygo 11 (RM), Bellingham 22 (RM), Anguissa 47 (N), Paz 84 (RM), Joselu 94 (RM)

29-11-2023 20:00
MatchDay 5

Player statistic

1st half
    10' Goal Giovanni Simeone
(Assist: Giovanni Di Lorenzo)
Rodrygo
(Assist: Brahim Díaz)
Goal 11'    
Jude Bellingham
(Assist: David Alaba)
Goal 22'    
2nd half
    47' Goal Frank Anguissa
    49' Yellow card Piotr Zielinski
Nico Paz
(Assist: Antonio Rüdiger)
Goal 84'    
Joselu
(Assist: Jude Bellingham)
Goal 90+4'    
    90' Yellow card Jens Cajuste

Match statistic

53
Possession %
47
20
Total shots
11
9
Shots on target
3
10
Shots off target
2
1
Blocked shots
6
5
Corners
4
1
Offsides
1
6
Fouls
14
RMA
NAP

Starting lineups

13
Goalkeeper
22
Defender
2
Defender
4
Defender
23
Defender
87'
21
Midfielder
65'
19
Midfielder
57'
15
Midfielder
5
Midfielder
8
Midfielder
11
Attacker
87'
1
Goalkeeper
13
Defender
22
5
Defender
3
Defender
99
Midfielder
20
Midfielder
65'
68
Midfielder
87'
18
Attacker
46'
77
87'
21
Attacker
78'

Substitutes

31
Goalkeeper
28
Midfielder
20
Defender
33
Midfielder
38
Midfielder
30
Goalkeeper
14
Attacker
57'
32
Midfielder
65'
6
Defender
87'
17
Attacker
87'
55
Defender
70
Midfielder
14
Goalkeeper
23
Attacker
95
Goalkeeper
9
Attacker
46'
7
Midfielder
65'
24
Midfielder
78'
59
87'
81
87'

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