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Napoli - Real Madrid:

Napoli - Real Madrid Champions League: match report, as it happened, goals

Sergio Ramos saved Real Madrid from a nervous second half with two headers to put the game out of reach before Morata sealed the win late on in the Champions League
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Napoli 1-3 Real Madrid: full-time report

Images of Napoli fans streaming into San Paolo as many as six hours before kick-off signalled just what this match meant to the city of Naples and when the game kicked off, they were well and truly warmed up. Their intensity complemented the performance on the field as they tore into Real Madrid from the first minute.

As the half-chances continued to pile up, Napoli were no closer to the two goals they needed to take the lead in the tie. They would continue to push though and on 24 minutes, they had their opening. Some neat interplay between Insigne, Hamsik and eventually Mertens would result in the Belgian driving a low and hard shot beyond Keylor Navas and as he set off to celebrate, the noise levels in the stadium grew to the kind of levels that can cause tinnitus.

Napoli's tails were up and Real Madrid were on the ropes. The half-chances continued to clock up and it seemed only a matter of time before they had their second. Real Madrid were growing increasingly nervous in possession and retreating with every minute that ticked by. When the sweet relief that was Cuneyt Cakir's half-time whistle blew, they returned to the dressing room in an effort to figure out what was going on.

Lorenzo Insigne in action
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Lorenzo Insigne in actionTony GentileREUTERS

Second half

Whatever was said in the dressing room proved fruitful as Real Madrid showed up for the second 45 with more intention in the opening five than they had showed all game. That intention was rewarded six minutes into the half when Sergio Ramos met a cross and glanced it beyond Pepe Reina and into the far corner of the net after Marek Hamsik had coughed up possession with Napoli trying to build. the tables had turned and suddenly Napoli were in a very fragile position. 

Another six minutes on and with Napoli needing three, Ramos popped up again and drove another header towards the goal only for it to hit Dries Mertens and loop over Reina for his second (at the time, UEFA have since given an own goal to Mertens) and Real Madrid's fifth of the tie meaning the hosts needed four. They never gave up but there was no doing and when Alvaro Morata slammed home in the 90th minute to put the icing on the cake, the game had been longer over as a contest for quite some time. Real Madrid march on with their eye on duodecima and a league title to make it a double, while Napoli are left to pick up the pieces with a manager and president who don't see eye to eye, sitting third in Serie A and 10 points behind the leaders Juventus.

Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring their third goal
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Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring their third goalTony GentileREUTERS

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