Real battles back to beat Napoli 3-1

Taylor Byrd
February 16, 2017

Two goals in five second-half minutes helped Real Madrid come from behind to beat Napoli 3-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 clash at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Barca were smashed at PSG on Tuesday night and Real were stung when Lorenzo Insigne fired the Italians ahead after 12 minutes.

But Insigne had other ideas and he put Napoli in front when he raced onto a flawless threaded through-ball by Marek Hamsik before spotting goalkeeper Keylor Navas way off his line and stroking a low bouncing effort into the net from fully 35 yards.

Mertens had been kept on the fringes of the action but he wasted a great chance to give Napoli a second away goal, curling a shot over the bar with the goal gaping after Jose Callejon controlled the ball into his path, and James would have punished that miss had Reina not raced off his line to make a good block at the Colombia star's feet.

But Real were level, against the run of play, seven minutes later, when Karim Benzema powered home a header from Dani Carvajal's cross.

Defending champions Real Madrid recovered after conceding a stunning early goal to beat Napoli 3-1 to set them on course for a quarter-finals berth in the competition for the seventh straight season.

Real Madrid had a chance to level in the 12th minute when Ronaldo again found Benzema inside the Napoli box, but the striker's header was away from goal as the visitors survived a unsafe moment.

Five minutes later, Real Madrid made it 3-1 on the night and it was a once-in-a-lifetime strike from Casemiro, who found the far corner of the net with a sensational volley from distance to put Napoli in all sorts of trouble.

This goes to Kroos, who got his goal and his passing in the middle really improved as the game went on, allowing Real to quickly transition to attack.

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