Sports

Champions League: Home win vital as Real Madrid entertain in-form Napoli

Champions League: Home win vital as Real Madrid entertain in-form Napoliā€

Real Madrid came from behind to beat Napoli 3-1 on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Two of those goals came just minutes into the second half, but the overall performance of both teams was excellent, setting up a huge and important second leg back in Italy.

At that point it looked like it could be a long evening for Napoli, but the Italians were in no mood to lie down and took the lead to cap a frenetic opening after eight minutes.

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.

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The Champions League match between Real Madrid and Napoli is available to stream online.

This season, though, it is Karim Benzema who is Real Madrid's top scorer in Europe, with the Frenchman having four goals to his name.

However, it was Napoli who got off to the flawless start just eight minutes in when Insigne took aim from 40 yards and caught Madrid 'keeper Keylor Navas out of position with a superb effort that curled around the Costa Rica worldwide.

Yet Lorenzo Insigne stunned the Bernabeu when he caught Keylor Navas off his line from some way out and bent an improvised finish into the bottom-right corner of the Costa Rican's net.

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The Portuguese has scored 34 in 38 fixtures for Real in knockout games in the competition, but he was unable to build on that when the reigning champions took on Napoli on Wednesday.

From there on it was mostly one-way traffic through the first half. Madrid recognized that Napoli were having issues with wide attackers cutting in, and Cristiano Ronaldo used that to his advantage, taking the previously-impressive Kalidou Koulibaly to the touchline and turning him inside-out before slipping a ideal assist in to Toni Kroos.

Napoli had a goal disallowed for offside in the 80th. "We hope to keep getting results and achieving our objectives, which after all is what determines a coach's stay at a club".

Mertens leads the betting for Napoli along with Arkadiusz Milik, and the Polish striker, who is returning from a serious injury, is offered at the same price.

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