Sport

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

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

Just look at how they came out at the first whistle: playing aggressively and confidently, looking to execute their gameplan no matter what Real Madrid did.

From there on it was mostly one-way traffic through the first half.

Alexis Sanchez equalised for the visitors, scoring on the rebound after Manuel Neuer saved his 30th-minute penalty, but that seems of little outcome now before the second leg in London on March 7. He is staying at the team's hotel and plans to give a pep talk to the players ahead of Wednesday's match. Even a desperation change from Napoli, taking captain and key midfield playmaker Marek Hamsik off for striker Arkadiusz Milik, couldn't get them another goal, sinking them to a 3-1 defeat.

Real Madrid returned to the top of La Liga after winning a testing away clash against Osasuna 3-1 on Saturday thanks to goals from talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, midfielder Isco and substitute Lucas Vazquez.

The home side took the lead shortly after the break as Ronaldo picked out Toni Kroos, who placed the ball into the far corner, 2-1.

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Ramos was replaced in the 71st minute of Wednesday's Champions League match against Napoli due to injury.

Rather than attempt to chip the goalkeeper, Insigne sends a low, curling shot beyond a scrambling Navas and into the side-netting.

There was hardly time to take a breath in the opening five minutes of action as Real Madrid continued to force the issue, but Napoli were a danger when they had the chance to counter through Callejon, Dries Mertens and Insigne.

Madrid had won 23 of their previous 32 home matches against Italian opposition, yet their only two-legged victory over a team from the peninsula came last season against Roma, also in the round of 16. Sarri is doing a great job as coach and you can see what they're about through their results.

Zidane said: "Napoli play good football".



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