Real Madrid top Group C with victory over Napoli thanks to Valverde’s strike

Real Madrid top Group C with victory over Napoli thanks to Valverdes strike. AFP
Real Madrid top Group C with victory over Napoli thanks to Valverde’s strike. AFP

Real Madrid emerged victorious against Napoli, with Jude Bellingham at the forefront of their success in a thrilling Champions League clash.

Napoli initially took the lead in the 19th minute when Leo Ostigard capitalised on a rebound, but Real Madrid quickly responded as Vinicius Jr. found the net, courtesy of Bellingham’s assist.

The second half saw Napoli’s determination pay off as Piotr Zielinski converted a penalty awarded after VAR review. However, the pivotal moment came when Federico Valverde’s powerful strike hit the crossbar and deflected off Napoli’s goalkeeper Alex Meret, securing a 3-2 win for Real Madrid.

This victory propelled Real Madrid to the top of Group C, with six points from their first two matches. Napoli, who had an impressive 14-game unbeaten run at home in the Champions League, sits in second place, edging out Braga based on head-to-head results.

Both teams exhibited their potential to make a deep run in the competition, but Real Madrid’s resilient performance and Bellingham’s brilliance sealed their triumph in Naples.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised Bellingham’s extraordinary qualities, stating, “What’s so amazing about Bellingham is that he’s only 20. He has great quality, a strong personality, and character.”

Napoli, under the management of Rudi Garcia, started strongly with a high-pressing game plan that forced Real Madrid into costly errors. However, their early intensity faded, allowing Real Madrid to regain control of the match.

Bellingham’s performance was a highlight of the game, showcasing his exceptional talent. His ability to score in various ways has made him a standout player for Real Madrid since his arrival.

The match unfolded in a city recently shaken by earthquakes, adding to the dramatic atmosphere at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Real Madrid’s dominance in the opening exchanges was challenged by Napoli’s spirited play, but ultimately, it was Real Madrid who claimed victory with a memorable strike from Valverde.

The encounter between these two European heavyweights lived up to expectations, leaving fans eagerly anticipating more thrilling Champions League action in the weeks ahead.

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