Champions Real Comeback To Sink Brave Napoli

16 February, 2017, 00:13 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos contemplates changing his shirt number to 93 in honour of La Decima goal

James Rodriguez was named in the Real Madrid starting XI for just the second time in 2017 ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Napoli.

The first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 saw Insigne open the scoring with a stunner after eight minutes, but Karim Benzema, Casemiro and Toni Kroos completed the comeback.

Two more chances fell Madrid's way before the final whistle.

Dries Mertens spurned a fantastic opportunity on 68 minutes, dragging a shot high and wide from Jose Callejon's close range cutback.

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 return match against Napoli is on March 7 in Italy.

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The 23-year-old has become a vital part of the Madrid midfield this season after originally having to grow his game on-loan at Porto.

Maurizio Sarri and his Napoli team can take heart from the fact that Madrid do tend to struggle against Italian sides.

"We must go step by step, game by game".

Now, one of those goals was somewhat lucky - Casemiro's goal was ridiculous - but both were the result of those halftime adjustments. With the exception of the seldom-seen Fabio Coentrao, all of Madrid's 20 outfield players have scored this term - and that has taken the pressure off the forward players.

"There are several players who have played more the 500 games for Real Madrid and they are legends of the club", the Spain worldwide said. It is much more of a team effort at the Bernabeu these days and that will stand Los Blancos in good stead for another assault on the competition they love to think of as their own.

It was a attractive response for Napoli and one that will be treasured for a long time.

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