Real in mastery and quarters, Naples in demonstration
Convincing winners in the first leg, Real Madrid and Naples logically validated their ticket for the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday, with another victory against Liverpool for the Spaniards (1-0) and a demonstration in front of Frankfurt for the Italians (3-0).
The top 8 is now known! Before the draw for the quarters, scheduled for Friday, European football knows the teams that will fight for a place in the semi-finals in April.
And Real Madrid, defending champion, will be part of it. The spectacular victory at Liverpool in the first leg (5-2) gave Karim Benzema’s partners a comfortable lead before the second leg, but they took care to disgust the English again, on the same score as the 2022 final at the Stade de France.
The work of the evening was signed Benzema, Ballon d’Or still decisive a few days before an international break which will offer rest to the French striker, who has retired from the France team.
The N.9 took over a pass from Vinicius (78th) at the end of the game, when Liverpool began to discover themselves. In search of its 15th title in C1, a record, Real always seems equipped to go very far in the competition, like the youth of Eduardo Camavinga, preferred in the middle to his compatriot Aurélien Tchouaméni at kick-off .
– Osimhen goes on –
Madrid are not the only ones, however, to have impressed during this return leg. Manchester City and Erling Haaland showed it on Tuesday by beating Leipzig 7-0, Bayern also eliminating Paris SG without contest.
And Napoli, on Wednesday, also positioned themselves as a title contender, despite a pre-match marked by clashes in the city center involving German fans without tickets.
Well ahead of Serie A, Luciano Spalletti’s men are on a mission this season and it was not Eintracht Frankfurt who could compete against the Neapolitan grinta, even less without Randal Kolo Muani, the suspended Blues striker.
Already a scorer in the first leg in Germany (2-0), Victor Osimhen did it again at the Maradona stadium by scoring twice (45th + 2, 53rd), before the goal from the penalty spot of the Polish Piotr Zielinski (64th).
In the wake of the Nigerian, Naples allows Italy to send three representatives to the quarter-finals, with Inter and AC Milan. For Napoli, it is quite simply a first at this stage of the event.
In the quarter-finals (April 11-12 and 18-19), the three Italian clubs will meet two English clubs – Chelsea and Manchester City -, a Spanish club – Real -, a German team – Bayern – and a Portuguese representative, Benfica.