On Tuesday night saw one of the most lacklustre performances by the BBC (Bale Benzema and Cristiano) in the Uefa Champions League. The trio’s performance was way below average as they were completely left out of the party, at the San Paolo stadium that was full packed with the home fans cheering their team to victory.
After just 23 minutes into the game, Dries Mertens opened the scoring with a brilliant finish to beat Keylor Navas at his near post. It was complete dominance by the Italians with Real Madrid left in a moment of panic. The Joyful Napoli fans were looking for a second goal to possible wrapped up the tie when Mertens strike from inside the area beat Navas again but stroked the woodwork and denied Napoli a second.
Napoli led 1-0 into the interval, but the broken Real Madrid returned strongly in the second half as it has been their a tradition in recent games and the team leader who is none other than Sergio Ramos pulled his team up and took maximum responsibility. On the 51st minute, Ramos equalised for Real Madrid after heading a brilliant Toni Kroos cross from a corner kick with Pepe Reina with absolutely no response on that occasion.
Los Blancos who are aiming at to become the only team to win the Champions League back to back and also targeting a 12th Champions League title bounced back and six minutes later in the 57th minute, Ramos again headed a Toni Kroos corner that deflected Dries Mertens to put Real Madrid ahead 2-1 on the night.
From then on, Napoli knew it will be tough to reach the Quarterfinals, but they didn’t give up easily as they continue to press Real Madrid with several attacking chance looking to get an equaliser to give then little hopes.
Madrid held on strongly with better defensive work and in the 90th minute, they created a nice attacking move that found a Cristiano Ronaldo who fired a thunderous shot that was parried away by Reina into play, with Alvaro Morata just in the right place to tap in the rebound for Real’s third. Naples was in total silence as Real Madrid edged the Italians 1-3 on the night to progress (2-6 on aggregate).
It is not the first time the Real Madrid Skipper would come to the rescue for his team. The man from Seville has done this in Real Madrid previous champions league triumph and several times in Spanish La Liga as well. This will definitely not be the last time he will bail Los Blancos out again. He is just an incredible and passionate leader.