The players of Napoli lost in the second round of Group C of the Champions League in front of their own audience against Real Madrid 2:3. The duel started well for the Italian champion, when he took the lead in the 19th minute after a hesitation by Kepa Arrizabalaga. However, the White Ballet turned the game in their favor before halftime thanks to Jud Bellingham’s assist and accurate shot. Although the Partenopei were able to match the pace again after the change of sides, they could not find an answer to Federico Valverde’s cannon, which was helped by a rebound from the crossbar and then the goalkeeper’s back.
Real Madrid arrived at the Diego Maradona stadium in a great mood, having managed an important match in the home competition against Girona at the weekend, and consolidated the first place in the table. However, he did not have an easy task waiting for him on the soil of the Italian champion. The Gli Azzurri have bounced back after some unconvincing performances, netting eight goals in their last two games. Victor Osimhen was a big threat to the Madrid defense.
However, another sniper had the first great opportunity in the sixth minute, the Brazilian Rodrygo from Madrid, who shot Alex Meret himself in front of the goal. Nevertheless, Napoli were the first to experience the joy of a goal after a corner kick in the 19th minute. Arrizabalaga misjudged the trajectory of the cross and after Natan stamped the crossbar with a header, Leo Östigard got onto the rebound and rippled the empty net. Immediately after, another foul came, the captain of the Italian champion, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, did not manage the pass and his imprecise pass was punished by Vinícius Júnior. He completed the turnover with the second “Canadian point” in the Bellingham game, when he overcame three backs and finished solo with a shot at the far post. At the end of the half, Arrizabalaga showed himself in a good light, as he knocked out an unpleasant header from Osimhena.
The hand of Nacho Fernandez started the second half, the video referee advised Clement Turpin to blow the penalty. Piotr Zieliňski sent the ball over the goal line and Rudi Garcia’s men could celebrate the equalizer. Bellingham could have secured three points for Real in the 73rd minute, but his header narrowly missed the left post. In the 78th minute, Valverde sent his cannonball into the crossbar, but the ball bounced off Meret’s back and into the net. The Neapolitans could not find an antidote to the unlucky own goal.
In the end, Real Madrid dominated the battle between the two favorites of Group C and did not lose a point on Italian soil for the eighth time in a row. Both teams will play their next group stage match on October 24. The Gli Azzurri will take on Union Berlin, the White Ballet will visit Braga.