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Real Madrid RMA
4
Rodrygo 10',Jude Bellingham 21',Nico Paz 83',Joselu 93'
Nápoles NAP
2
Giovanni Simeone 8',Franck Zambo 46'
Finished

Real Madrid - Napoli summary: score, goals, highlights | Champions League

Update:
Jude Bellingham scores one and sets up another as Madrid make it five UCL wins out of five against Napoli.

Real Madrid - Napoli: as it happened

Full-time thoughts:

Real Madrid keep up their 100% record in the Champions League this year with another serious performance led by Mr Neutron Star, Jude Bellingham. They are through to the Round of 16 as group leaders after fantastic performances all across the pitch.

Nico Paz got the 'winner', goal number 3 for Real Madrid in the win, but it was the Englishman who led the side from start to finish, getting a goal and an assist against a Napoli side who threatened at times to take all 3 points. 

Toni Kroos is also a name worth picking out, as the German shone for 90 minutes, dictating the play from the middle of the pitch: I don't think he left the centre circle once but neither did he need to.

I could go down the Real Madrid team and pick out just about everyone as having had a great game. Napoli were quietened on both wings by Madrid's full backs, with Politano and Kvaratskhelia limited to a few chances to put speculative crosses in. The two centre-backs, Alaba and Rüdiger, were sensational against both Simeone and Osimhen.

Valverde ran his socks off, as did Ceballos for what he could handle. Brahim caused a constant threat and in goal, Lunin saved what was expected.

The game dropped off for a period in the second half but Real Madrid picked it back up and blew Napoli pout of the water in the final 20 minutes of the tie, pushing them back and scoring two late goals.

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Video Summary: Real Madrid 4-2 Napoli

Here's my post-match summary of the Champions League game between Real Madrid and Napoli, which saw Jude Bellingham shine once again at the Bernabéu, despite his injury scare.

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That's all, folks!

Let's leave it there. 

Thanks for following along with the live coverage of the game and make sure to check out AS USA for all the latest sport news!

Joe

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Kroos, Nico Paz and Bellingham will take the headlines...

But I thought Toni Rüdiger was immense tonight and he managed to keep both Simeone and Osimhen quiet for incredibly long stretches of the game. He stepped up when needed to and dug in when the crosses kept coming; another strong 90 minutes from the German defender.

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Carlo Ancelotti post-game:

It was a tough game, a complicated one. We managed to find the energy to win it in the last 20 minutes, which were very good.

Nico Paz is a great talent from the academy and he scored an important goal for us and him.

We had a lot of problems, but it was a good game, one in which we fought hard. Now it's time to rest, as it was a very tense and physical match.

Bellingham made the difference in the end. Nobody could have guessed how well he was going to do. He's amazing at arriving into the box. He had another chance in the second half and gets into the box like a motorbike.

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager

Rodrygo clears up injury worry:

The second half was a bit tough, I got a bit of cramp, but I'm OK!

Rodrygo, Real Madrid
Who is Nico Paz? From Real Madrid’s youth academy to Champions League goalscorer

Want to know more about Madrid's third goalscorer, Nico Paz?

The 19-year-old Real Madrid youth product opened his scoring account for Madrid with a late strike against Napoli on Wednesday.

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Which teams have qualified for the 2023-24 Champions League Round of 16?

Which teams join Real Madrid in the Round of 16?

Here's your answer, thanks to Roddy. Barcelona are among the teams to progress from the group stage on matchday five, joining Real Madrid in the draw for the last 16.

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How the group looks:

Real Madrid are home and dry at the top with 15 from 15. 

Napoli can come second by not losing by more than two goals at home against Braga, a result that looks very likely. Union Berlin got their second point of the campaign after drawing with the Portuguese side, but their European dream was over weeks ago.

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Full-time comments from Nico Paz:

This is a dream, I can't believe it. I want to help the team and I'm so happy.

I just took a chance, I hit it and I can't believe it.

Rodrygo is amazing, we get on well. Thanks to all my teammates.

Ancelotti congratulated me, as did my teammates, they're a great group.

We have one of the best academies in the world at Real Madrid.

This year we're playing well in the UCL and we need to continue this way.

Nico Paz, Real Madrid
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90+6

Full-time!

Real Madrid continue their 100% record this season in the Champions League!

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90+5

Joselu hits another effort towards goal that flies wide.

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Bellingham plays a ball to the far post with the outside of his boot and Joselu, who apologises to the crowd immediately after scoring, only has to tap it in.

He could not have missed that.

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90+4

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL

GUESS WHO???

JOSELUUUUUU

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90+2

Real Madrid counter with Carvajal...

and Joselu makes a terrible mess of the free shot as the low cross comes in. It's not his day, let's leave it there.

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90+1

Raspadori hits an ambitious attempt as he tumbles to the ground on the edge of the box. Lunin jumps as a token effort but it's way over the goal.

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90

6 added minutes.

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90

We're into the final minute.

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88

Joselu gets the ball on the left side of the box after a stunning run from Bellingham, who might well be made of iron and neutron stars

The Spaniard's shot, if only it were as good as the move that led to it... but instead his weak effort dribbled towards the goalkeeper like a lazy raindrop.

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RMA

Nacho & Lucas Vázquez ON

Rodrygo & Mendy OFF

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NAP

Raspadori ON

Lobotka OFF

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86

Rodrygo breaks away on his own from a Napoli corner and he runs all he can before falling over and asking for the change. It's been some shift from the winger.

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85

Back underway.

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And it's a beauty!

The midfielder finds space 30 yards from goal, shapes to shoot and whacks a low drive past the goalkeeper to get his first goal in a white shirt!

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84

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL

NICO PAZ GETS WHAT COULD WELL BE THE WINNER

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83

The home side are pressing their opponents into their own defensive third as wel close in on the final five minutes; the fans also smell the blood.

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82

Real Madrid's peak came in the first half of the game but they're certainly finishing the match off the better of the two sides as they ping the ball through the lines in search of the third.

Napoli know the draw is enough for them.

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It's a delightful ball from Rodrygo, who finds Bellingham with a long ball from the right that sails over the top of the Napoli defence and lands with the Englishman.

His shot is low and well saved but the ball bounces up to Joselu, who can't direct his header on target from close range!

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HUGE SAVE FROM MERET

JOSELU HITS THE REBOUND WIDE

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Real Madrid have turned up the gears and Rodrygo bursts down the right to the byline where he sees his cross met by Joselu in acrobatic fashion - but the effort flies just over the bar!

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78

JOSELU OVERHEAD KICK OVER THE BAR

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Bellingham's cross is met by Rüdiger, who sees his header well saved!

Alaba gets on the rebound and hits a close-range overhead kick that spins over the goal!

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77

OVER THE BAR FROM ALABA

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The replay on the Mendy challenge from Di Lorenzo looks to confirm the referee's decision: the French defender was looking for contact as the challenge came in.

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75

Mendy goes down in the box... no penalty says the referee!

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73

Bellingham twists and turns on the left before cracking a ball across the face of goal but nobody is there to meet it.

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72

Joselu goes down as his ankle is clipped by Jesus, but somehow Monsieur referee gives the free-kick the other way

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70

Valverde finds a yard ahead of him and drives through the Napoli wall like a tank. It looks as though he wants to findJoselu through the lines with a pass but it bobbles away and into the hands of the opposition goalkeeper.

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69

We've seen a lot less of Bellingham and Rodrygo in this half, Madrid haven't been anywhere near as direct or intense as they were in the first period.

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67

Napoli are probing as we close in on the final 20 minutes of the game. Osimhen has the ball in the back of the net but it's offside...

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66

We're back underway and poor old Piotr Zielinski looks in a lot of pain on the sidelines. His night is over.

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NAP

Elmas ON

Zielinski OFF

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RMA

Nico Paz ON

Brahim OFF

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64

The Napoli doctors are on as Zielinski goes down.

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Mendy gets the ball on the left and plays a peach of a cross, one that curls around the Napoli defence who are racing backwards.

It flies past 2 Real Madrid players before landing at the feet of Joselu, who does not expect the chance and as such his touch is late and the ball is fumbled over the bar at the back post!

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62

JOSELU OVER THE BAR FROM CLOSE RANGE

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61

Nico Paz is getting ready to come on for Real Madrid.

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60

Half an hour to go and the game is no longer comfortable for the 14-time European champions. Napoli have moved their block 10 yards higher and the Madrid midfield looks tired in defensive transition, if I'm honest.

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58

A last-ditch challenge from Rüdiger steals the ball from their Georgian winger and Real Madrid's energy levels need to increase if they want to win this... Napoli are finding it very easy to get at their defence.

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57

It's nearly a Jude Bellingham-esque impact from Joselu, who is found from the in-swinging corner but heads over.

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RMA

Joselu ON

Ceballos OFF

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56

Natan's clearance gives Madrid a corner as the home team push back...

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54

Napoli have done well to keep Madrid away from the ball for a few minutes.

Politano finds Kvaratskhelia's head from the right, but the Georgian isn't 3 metres tall and as such doesn't make decent enough contact to be able to direct the effort towards Lunin.

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That was a disaster from the home side as Ceballos lost the ball on halfway and Napoli attacked 3vs1, but it was Valverde who got a vital interception from Kvaratskhelia's cross at the last second, right as Osimhen was shaping to shoot!

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VALVERDE SAVES MADRID

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52

Napoli counter 3vs1...

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51

Now it's Valverde's turn to get close to the Napoli goal, again with the chance coming down the right, but the Uruguayan loses his footing at the last moment and goes to ground.

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49

Back underway as Brahim looks to score from kick-off, but he is dispossessed as he arrives in the Napoli box.

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Zambo Anguissa hits a cross from the right side of the box that is deflected right back at him, and he goes for goal with the rebound, smashing the ball into the top left corner past Lunin, who was given no chance with the fury on the shot!

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ANGUISSA

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47

GGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL

NAPOLI DRAW LEVEL!!!

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46

Carvajal tries a searching ball low down but driven, aimed through the gap between the Napoli centre-backs. It's cut out before reaching Rodrygo, but it would have been a sensational pass.

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46

Second half underway!

Real Madrid get us going...

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NAP

Osimhen ON

Simeone OFF

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The teams are in the tunnel... and Bellingham steps out onto the pitch with them!

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Joselu is warming up on the pitch... is Bellingham coming off?

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Here's how things look at half-time:

Union Berlin are 0-1 up away at Braga, which is great news for Napoli.

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Half-time thoughts:

A fantastically frantic first 45 minutes of football at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu has Real Madrid ahead by 2 goals to 1.

It was Napoli who struck first, with a delightful pass over the Spanish defence finding Di Lorenzo, who played across goal to Simeone to put the away side ahead.

But before I finished describing the goal, Rodrygo and Brahim had linked up from kick-off, with the Brazilian crashing a ferocious effort into the top corner of Meret's goal!

From then on, Real Madrid's dominance grew 100 sizes, and a stunning passing move ended with Alaba's searching cross from distance finding Jude Bellingham, who pulled off his white kit to reveal a SuperMan outfit which granted him the power of flight, allowing him to smash home a diving header past the goalkeeper to give his side the lead.

The scare of the game came when Bellingham was spotted on the turf holding his ankle, with no suspicious challenge giving us reason to think he was injured.

Bellingham returned to the pitch after treatment, but we will have to see if he makes it out for the second half.

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45+4

Half-time!

Real Madrid are ahead at the break after a dramatic 45 minutes!

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45+3

Brahim slices over from the edge of the box; good work again on the right side, this time from Carvajal, who found the ex-City attacker with a nice pass across the 18-yard line.

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45+3

Rrahmani heads away Brahim's cross from the right after Toni Kroos' laser-guided pass to the wing. 

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45+1

Real Madrid are doing a great job of keeping the ball and running down the clock...

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45

4 added minutes.

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45

Bellingham is back on as we enter the final minute of normal time in the first half.

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43

He's receiving treatment as Joselu warms up.

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43

Bellingham goes down again!

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42

Hmm... OK, he's up as Napoli see there corner cleared away. As of yet, there has been no signal from the player to the bench.

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42

Bellingham is down... there was no challenge.

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39

Mendy hacks the ball out of play after being played a pass one one yard away from goal by Lunin as Napoli's players pressed high. A nervy moment but another example of the high levels of confidence from the side in white.

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37

The joy from the crowd is the most prevalent aspect of the tie so far: they cheer as Bellingham pops the ball between the legs of an opponent before sighing in unison as Kroos' chance at smashing a volley is taken away from him by a rude interception.

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36

Brahim smashes a cross in from the right that's headed away by Natan at the near post. Another good chance for Real Madrid, and Jude was fishing around the penalty spot...

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34

Brahim counters and is brought down between the centre circle and the Napoli box, a fristrated Kvaratskhelia the culprit.

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33

There's a foul in the box and Napoli survive.

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32

Real Madrid win a corner after nice work between Brahim and Carvajal down the right. Another SuperBellingham header?

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The ball is won high up the pitch and Rodrygo burns forward before playing right to Brahim in a 2vs2 situation.

The shot from the Malagueño is dragged wide of the far post from the edge of the box as a good chance goes to waste.

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30

BRAHIM FIRES WIDE

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28

Madrid remind Napoli what shape the ball is as they sit back and give up possession to the Italian side. However, the defensive block is strong and despite Kvaratskhelia standing up to Dani Carvajal a couple of times, he's not taken him on once.

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27

A couple of counter attacks from Madrid end in nothing but their tackling in the midfield third, by Kroos, Brahim, Fede and Ceballos, has been superb in setting them up to launch more pressure on the opposition defence.

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25

Back underway. It's party time at the Bernabéu!

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That goal was sensational: Real Madrid's possession move in the build-up went on for at least 60 seconds, with the side passing and probing and looking for a way through the Napoli block.

It was mesmeric: fast, direct and with purpose behind it, the move culminated in a fantastic reward for a player who continues to show he is levels and levels above what we all expected.

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Alaba's cross from 35 yards out finds Bellingham, who had snuck in behind the Napoli defence and his superman jump was met with a perfect header past Meret!

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Stunning football!

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22

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

BELLINGHAM!!! WHO ELSE????

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20

Twenty minutes gone and Dani Ceballos has been fantastic so far

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18

A foul on the edge of the Napoli box goes begging for Brahim and Real Madrid, who definitely looked like he got clattered by Natan.

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Yeah, you're telling us!

What a response for Real Madrid; things seem to have settled as they play around in their own half, drawing Napoli out.

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It's stunning from Real Madrid, who play six, seven, eight delightfully tight passes in the middle of the pitch before Bellingham opens wide to Carvajal.

The full-back smashes a cross to the penalty spot but the height is awkward for Rodrygo, whose shot is skewed over the bar.

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14

CHANCE FOR RODRYGO!

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13

We're back underway. As you were, I guess!

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WOW! 

Real Madrid take the kick-off and drive forward with Brahim, who plays to Rodrygo down the left wing and the Brazilian smashes the ball into the far top corner from the edge of the box!

What a response!

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RODRYGOOOOOOO

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11

GOOOOOOOOOOGOOOOOOOOOOGOOOOOOOOOOGOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

REAL MADRID DRAW LEVEL IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

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Kvaratskhelia plays a ball from the left corner of the box to the far post, where it's played across goal by Di Lorenzo. Real Madrid don't deal with the ball behind them and although Lunin gets a hand on the tap in, it's Simeone who opens the scoring in the capital.

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GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL

NAPOLI TAKE THE LEAD

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7

It's incrediblycongested in the middle of the pitch as Real Madrid control the ball early on: all outfield players could fit into the centre circle if they shifted over.

As Real Madrid generally sit off, things look different when Napoli get the ball, and there's more space to attack.

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5

The press from Napoli has gone from 'fairly high' to 'atom crushing'; the Italian side are tearing towards Lunin every time he looks in the direction of the ball.

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4

Whistles from the Real Madrid crowd as Kvaratskhelia gets his first touches up against Carvajal. Strange.

Anyone care to enlighten me what the poor lad's done? Tweet me @English_AS

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3

Napoli are pressing quite high and are forcing Real Madrid to play lots of quick passes early on in the middle third; it'll definitely help them to warm up as it's just slightly too cold to be comfortable at the Bernabéu this evening...

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1

Kroos tries *that* long ball to Carvajal but it misses the target. Thought I'd mention it as it rarely happens. 

Seconds later, Rodrygo gets the first shot of the game, a weak effort from inside the box that lands with Meret in the Napoli goal. A fast start to the game from the home team.

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1

We've got Real Madrid lined up pretty much as we guessed, with Valverde next to Kroos and Ceballos, who all sit just behind Bellingham.

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And we're off!

Monsieur referee blows the whistle and Napoli kick us off from right to left!

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'A road to glory' reads the artwork at the stadium

The Real Madrid tifo of a very scary lion holding a shield hangs from the sound stand at the Bernabéu as we prepare for kick-off.

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The teams are out!

The Chaaaaaaaaaammpioooons rings around the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu!

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A final reminder of the starting XIs:

REAL MADRID:

Lunin

Carvajal (c) - Rüdiger - Alaba - Mendy

Kroos - Ceballos - Valverde

Bellingham

Rodrygo - Brahim

 

NAPOLI:

Meret

Di Lorenzo - Rrahmani - Natan - Juan Jesus

Lobotka - Anguissa - Zielinski

Politano - Simeone - Kvaratskhelia

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In other news...

Sevilla have just lost 2-3 at home against PSV, with the USMNT's Ricardo Pepi getting the winner for the Dutch side.

As for ManchesterUnited, they have scored 9 goals in 3 away games and have just 1 point from them, which is a shame, isn't it. Galatasaray levelled and the game ended 3-3 in Turkey.

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FIFTEEN MINUTES TO GO!

The players have finished their warmups and are ready to head down the tunnel for the team talks ahead of the game!

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Napoli to delight in an all black strip

That is a stunning away strip from Napoli tonight who, whatever they do, will look delightful doing it.

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In case you've just joined us...

Here's how Group C looks in the Champions League ahead of kick-off.

The whizz-kid mathematicians among you will realise that Real Madrid are already through as two teams cannot catch them with just 2 games to go, but first place is certainly not theirs and a win today is necessary to seal top spot.

Napoli need a win to qualify as Braga are likely to get 3 points against lowly Union Berlin, so there is still plenty to play for as the action closes in!

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Why isn’t Vinícius Júnior playing for Real Madrid against Napoli in the Champions League?

I don't blame you if you forgot who's injured at Real Madrid and who isn't, the list is longer than Sergio Ramos' red card history. OK, not quite, but you get the idea. 

As such, Roddy has come to the rescue with a handy explainer of just who's in playing conditions at the club and who isn't, with Brazilian winger Vini Jr topping the pile of those missing.

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In case you didn't believe me...

Here's the starting XI confirmation from Napoli - better late than never!

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The new decorations are up at the Bermabéu!

Jude was all smiles when he saw the huge new wallpaper at the players' entrance to the Santiago Bernabéu!

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A reminder of the starting XIs:

REAL MADRID:

Lunin

Carvajal (c) - Rüdiger - Alaba - Mendy

Kroos - Ceballos - Valverde

Bellingham

Rodrygo - Brahim

 

NAPOLI:

Meret

Di Lorenzo - Rrahmani - Natan - Juan Jesus

Lobotka - Anguissa - Zielinski

Politano - Simeone - Kvaratskhelia

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Real Madrid pre-match press conference:

Talking too much about the problems we have and the absentees seems disrespectful to the players who will be out on the pitch tomorrow. They are contributing in ways that could never have been expected.

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager

[Mazzarri] knows Italian football very well and is a great friend. The change of coach adds extra motivation.

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager

Absolutely not [does he have advice for Xavi]. Xavi and myself know football very well... and we know that you get criticism. Sometimes it can happen, but Xavi has the experience to handle all of this. He knows the environment very well and I believe he has all the resources to handle this situation.

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager
Théo Zidane named in Real Madrid’s Champions League squad for Napoli: what kind of player is he?

ZIDANE IS BACK!

It's not quite Zinedine, but his son, Théo. The Real Madrid youngster has made the squad for today's game due to the sheer amount of injuries to Carlo Ancelotti's side as 2023 draws to a close. 

Playing as a midfielder, the France under-20 international has been with the club since he was 8-years-old and has made his way up through the age groups at the club.

He has started 11 games out of 14 this season in the third tier in Spain for Raúl's Real Madrid Castilla, the B Team.

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Would Ancelotti be a good fit for Brazil?

Great question, thanks for asking. 

Well, this is exactly what I tried to answer in this quick video below that you can check out ahead of kick-off, which is around 50 minutes away. 

In short, Ancelotti's ability to manage a dressing room is one of his most standout qualities and it's something that would definitely be put to the test as boss of the Seleçao

As well as this, he's also a master tactician, certainly an aspect of his person that flies under the radar at Real Madrid. 

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Napoli team news [4-3-3]:

GK: Meret

DEF: Jesus - Natan - Rrahmani - Di Lorenzo (c)

MID: Zobotka - Anguissa - Zielinski

ATT: Kvaratskhelia - Simeone - Politano

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Napoli 2-3 Real Madrid: summary, goals, highlights, Champions League

While we wait on the Napoli team news, here's how the game went last time...

The game in Naples was certainly a Champions League classic, with Real Madrid ultimately taking all three points thanks to a Fede Valverde thunderstrike in the second match day of the European competition.

It was a case of classic Real Madrid who, despite being down and against the ropes, managed to claw themselves back into the tie and ultimately get the win

If today’s game is anything similar to the clash in southern Italy earlier in the season then we are in for another treat!

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One hour to go!

How will Real Madrid line up?

Will we see Ancelotti's preferred 4-3-1-2 with Rodrygo and Brahim up front ahead of Bellingham, or could we see the coach go back to the past and adopt a 4-3-3 in the game, with Brahim, Rodrygo and Valverde as the attackers in front of Ceballos, Kroos and Bellingham?

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Here are tonight's fixtures:

Sevilla are currently 2-0 up against PSV while Manchester United are winning 1-2 against Galatasaray as in the early kick offs enter the second half.

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If you want to watch today’s action at the Santiago Bernabéu, then check out the link to FuboTV, where you can feast your eyes on the game with a free trial.

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Napoli pre-game press conference:

We’re facing a world-class club. We know all about what Real Madrid mean historically. We need to implement what we’ve been during the week and play our game.

Walter Mazzarri, Napoli manager

We’ll see where this gets us. Right now we’re only focused on this match. Our sole thought is to keep our Champions League dream alive.

Walter Mazzarri, Napoli manager

Napoli have had a certain playing identity for a long time and we want to express ourselves in this same way. I want to help the lads channel last season’s spirit. That’s how we expect to approach this Real Madrid game.

Walter Mazzarri, Napoli manager
Who is François Letexier, the referee for Real Madrid - Napoli in the Champions League?

François Letexieris a French referee who made his debut in Ligue 1 in January 2016 before being added to FIFA’s list of international referees a year later.

The 34-year-old was handed his Champions League debut in December 2020, and has since taken charge of 10 games in Europe’s elite competition. 

The assistant referees at the Bernabéu will be Letexier’s compatriots Cyril Mugnier and Mehdi Rahmouni; the fourth official will be Jérémy Stinat.

France’s Jérôme Brisard will be in charge of overseeing what goes on in the VAR room, with the Netherlands’ Pol van Boekel serving as his assistant for the night.

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Which teams have qualified for the 2023-24 Champions League Round of 16?

We saw some fabulous action across the continent yesterday, with various teams across Europe sealing their tickets to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

One of those teams was FC Barcelona, who wowed with the two Joãos at Montjuïc, coming back from behind tobeat an impressive Porto side 2-1 to top Group H. 

But they weren’t the only team who made it through, as the drama continued right across the groups.

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Presidents meet ahead of the game

Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez (centre) met with Napoli's Aurelio De Laurentiis (left) where the Italian was presented with a model of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

"Long and deep friendship with Real Madrid", tweeted the Napoli owner, after the event.

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Luka Modric, jugador del Real Madrid, en la llegada de la expedición blanca al Nuevo Mirandilla de Cádiz.

Marcelo del Pozo / Reuters

Luka Modric not fit to start

Luka Modric has not seen many minutes this season and he’s not happy about it. It’s been no secret that the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner would like to see more time off the pitch but today that won’t be the case, as he’s out with a slight hamstring issue.

It’s not expected to keep him away from the action for long, though, so expect to see the player return for Real Madrid’s next game in LaLiga at the weekend.

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Real Madrid XI revealed!

Lunin starts between the sticks with Carvajal, Alaba, Rüdiger and Mendy ahead of him.

Kroos, Valverde and Ceballos are in midfield with Bellingham in the playmaker role; Brahim and Rodrygo make up the attacking pair.

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How the table looks:

Real Madrid have a 100% record and are on 12points after 4 games, with Napoli sitting in second on 7, having won 2 of their 4 games.

Braga, who impressed both times against Madrid, are only on 3 points but they are expected to beat Union Berlin and could well be just a point away from the Italian side when the night is over, something which would make the final match day of the group very interesting indeed.

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If you want to watch today’s action at the Santiago Bernabéu, then check out the link to FuboTV, where you can feast your eyes on the game with a free trial.

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Cádiz 0-3  Real Madrid: summary, score, goals, highlights, LaLiga 2023-24

Los Blancos come into this game off the back of an impressive, business-like win against Cádiz in LaLiga.

In what was believed to be a tricky tie before kick-off, Real Madrid swept aside their yellow opponents with a huge helping hand from Rodrygo Goes, their Brazilian starlet.

The curious thing is that the winger was not set to feature in the game having played for Brazil in the international break, but a stomach bug that Brahim suffered 20 minutes before kick-off meant that he had to step in, and what a job he did!

The first goal was a stunning solo effort where he danced past various challenges before firing into the net and the player added a second after the break with, erm, another stunning solo effort.

The Brazilian has truly found form after he was questioned heavily about his talent levels, but Ancelotti has stuck by him at every moment and the side are now reaping the rewards from their fantastic forward.

Is it even worth mentioning that Bellingham got the third goal? You probably could have guessed…

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The Real Madrid dressing room is ready to go!

Los Blancos are in all white tonight as they look to seal top spot in Group C.

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What's at stake today?

Real Madrid are actually already through in Group C of the Champions League and have sealed their passage to the Round of 16 once again.

However, Napoli are very much not through, and if Braga beat Union Berlin, which we expect to happen, they would be just a point behind them with everything to play for going into the final match day of the first round.

The game is not completely redundant for Carlo Ancelotti, however, as a draw for Los Blancos would see them nail down top spot in the group.

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Team news: Napoli

It’s good news for Napoli as they continue their battle to the knockout rounds, as Victor Osimhen is set to return to the starting XI after overcoming a small injury.

Rui, who was diagnosed with a sprained MCI ligament, and Lindstrøm are the only twomajorabsentees for Mazzarri’s side this evening in Spain.

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Team news: Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s training ground, as expensive and high-tech as it may be, surely wasn't constructed with this many injuries in mind.

It seems that just about every player in the squad has passed through the recovery room at some point this season, with a total of 8 players currently occupying a seat there. 

Thibaut Courtois (ACL), Kepa Arrizabalaga (groin), Éder Militão (ACL), Eduardo Camavinga (knee), Aurélien Tchouaméni (foot), Luka Modric (hamstring), Arda Güler (thigh) and Vinícius Júnior (hamstring) all make up the long list of absentees for the game tonight, with many of the players mentioned out for at least a couple more months.

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We're up and running!

Hello and a warm welcome to a very chilly evening in Spain’s capital city, where I’ve got the pleasure of keeping you up to date with the UEFA Champions League!

It’s Joe here today on the decks as Real Madrid take on Napoli at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in match day 5 of Group C!

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