UCL Match Report, Round of 16: Napoli vs Real Madrid
Like the first leg (3-1 for Real Madrid) scoreline, Real Madrid snatched a 3-1 victory against the hosts Napoli in the return leg of UCL 2016/17 round of 16. As a result, Real Madrid comfortably reached in the quarter-final of the tournament with an aggregate scoreline of 6-2.
The hosts went ahead through Dries Mertens’ goal on 24 minutes. Sergio Ramos’ double in the early second half (51’ and 57’) helped the defending champions earn a 2-1 lead which was extended by Alvaro Morata in the injury time (90’+1’) of the second half.
Despite the score, it was not a very comfortable victory for the defending champion, the scenario was not alike before the beginning of the second half.
Napoli dominated in the first half as they took 1-0 lead in that half which made the serious threat for the defending champion on half-time. Total 11 shots were produced by the hosts in that half, however, only 3 of those were on target.
On 24 minutes, Mertens made 1-0 in favour of Napoli. Marek Hamsik generated a pass for Mertens who superbly finished that into the net from a difficult angle. With that goal, the aggregate scoreline went to 3-2 for Real Madrid but Napoli was too very close in the game.
5 minutes later of that goal, Benzema produced a ball for Ronaldo who brilliantly beat the hosts’ goalie (Pepe Reina) but failed to equalise the scoreline as Ronaldo’s finish hit on the post. The deflected ball from that incident reached Bale who also failed to score from a tough angle.
On 37 minutes, Real Madrid was lucky as Mertens’ shot hit the bar.
At the end of the first half, Napoli was leading by 1-0 in the match, however, Real Madrid was still leading on aggregate by 3-2.
The game changed in the early second half after Sergio Ramos scored two consecutive goals with a header.
First one was on 52 minutes when Kroos’ corner kick found Ramos’ header which travelled to the top right corner of the net.
The next one came in just 5 minutes later. From another Kroos’ corner, Ramos met with a header which also entered in the top right corner after taking a deflection of Mertens’ header at the end.
After that, Real totally overpowered the hosts as Napoli felt hard to score any other goal.
Morata added another goal for the defending champion in the injury time of the second half. Morata successfully took an opportunity after Reina saved Ronaldo’s shot but could not clear from the box. As a result, the ball reached in a dangerous position which Morata get and then smashed to score.
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