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Real Madrid beat Napoli in thrilling Champions League game

HomeSports NewsReal Madrid beat Napoli in thrilling Champions League game

In an epic and dramatic way Real Madrid beat Napoli in thrilling Champions League game, Real Madrid emerged victorious with a 4-2 win over Napoli. The match at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium had it all – goals, penalties, injuries and a stunning late winner – providing a fitting possible farewell for the current Champions League format.

The game started off in thrilling fashion with Napoli taking an early lead through striker Gio Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, in just the 4th minute. However, Real Madrid quickly equalized less than 10 seconds into the second half with a clinical finish from Rodrygo. The lead then went to Real Madrid in the 22nd minute after a diving header from Jude Bellingham, who has been in red-hot form.

But Napoli continued to battle and equalized early in the second half through midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in the 47th minute to make it 2-2. The game swung back and forth with both teams creating chances, including a disallowed goal for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen for offside.

As the game headed towards the final minutes, an unlikely hero emerged for Real Madrid. 19-year-old Nico Paz, son of former Argentina defender Pablo Paz, cut inside and fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner in the 85th minute to put Real Madrid 3-2 ahead. There was still time left for one final twist, as Real Madrid substitute Joselu added a fourth goal in injury time after an assist from Bellingham.

The 4-2 victory allows Real Madrid to clinch first place in their Champions League group in emphatic style. Bellingham was clearly the standout player, involved in three of the four Real Madrid goals. The English midfielder has been a revelation since joining Real Madrid, scoring an astonishing 15 goals in his first 16 games for the club.

For Napoli, their Champions League campaign ends in disappointment but they can hold their heads high after a spirited performance. 22-year-old winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia impressed with his silky skills and passing ability. Captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo also put in a solid defensive performance, including assists for both Napoli goals.

The game itself could be the last Champions League match at Real Madrid’s iconic Santiago Bernabéu stadium, at least in its current format. Next season will see a new-look Champions League introduced with a new league stage. If this was the last hurrah for the current format, both teams delivered a fitting adieu with a hugely entertaining match filled with drama and storylines.

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Real Madrid’s victory continues their astonishing reputation at the pinnacle of European football. The Spanish club now has 14 Champions League titles, more than any other team. Once again, Real Madrid showed their pedigree and ability to produce late heroic comebacks that have become their trademark in Europe’s elite club competition.

For Bellingham, his man-of-the-match performance will only increase the hype and expectations around the 19-year-old midfielder. He has shown maturity beyond his years since joining Real Madrid and quickly become a fan favorite with his box-to-box running, eye for goal and leadership qualities.

Late Paz winner sends Real Madrid top of group

Real Madrid went into their final Champions League group match needing at least a draw against Napoli to ensure finishing top of Group F. A loss could have seen them slip to second place.

With a packed Santiago Bernabéu crowd eagerly anticipating a dramatic European night, Napoli stunned the home fans by taking the lead after just 4 minutes through striker Gio Simeone. But Real Madrid immediately equalized right after the restart with Rodrygo clinically finishing after a sublime spin and pass from Brahim Diaz.

The lead then went to Real Madrid with a textbook header from Bellingham in the 22nd minute, his 15th goal in 16 matches since joining the Spanish club. But spirited Napoli refused to give up and equalized again early in the second half through midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in the 47th minute to make it 2-2.

Both teams had chances to take the lead, including a disallowed goal from Napoli’s Victor Osimhen for offside after he came on as a substitute. The game still hung in the balance entering the final minutes.

Step forward 19-year-old Nico Paz, who cut inside and fired an unstoppable shot from distance past Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret to score his first senior goal for Real Madrid. The 85th minute strike proved to be the winner, allowing Real Madrid to clinch a vital 3 points.

There was still time left for one final twist, as Real Madrid substitute Joselu added a fourth goal deep into injury time after an assist from Bellingham to round off an unforgettable European night in style.

Bellingham at the heart of Real Madrid’s epic comeback

If Real Madrid emerges victorious in this season’s Champions League, Jude Bellingham could prove the key difference-maker. Still only 19 years old, the English midfielder produced another scintillating display against Napoli.

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Bellingham scored Real Madrid’s second goal with a perfectly timed diving header and later assisted Joselu for their fourth goal deep into injury time. He covered huge amounts of ground in midfield and constantly drove Real Madrid forward with his tenacious running and passing ability.

Since joining Real Madrid in the summer, Bellingham has been simply sensational. He has now scored an incredible 15 goals in just 16 appearances across all competitions. But more than just his statistics, it is his maturity, decision making and work rate that belie his young age.

Against Napoli, Bellingham stepped up once more when Real Madrid needed him. If he can maintain this form, Real Madrid will have one of the hottest young prospects in world football leading their quest for a record-extending 15th European crown.

Paz winner adds to Real Madrid’s love for late drama

When 19-year-old Nico Paz cut inside Napoli’s penalty area in the 85th minute to fire Real Madrid into a 3-2 lead, it seemed a fitting winner on the night. His superb strike proved decisive, allowing Real Madrid to clinch first place in their Champions League group with one match remaining.

But there was also a deeper symbolism in Paz’s dramatic late winner. Real Madrid has built its legendary European reputation on producing these kinds of iconic late goals in critical moments.

Paz himself is the son of former Argentina defender Pablo Paz who played over 100 matches for Real Madrid. To score his first senior goal in only his second ever Champions League appearance will be beyond the teenager’s wildest dreams.

But Real Madrid has seen this script many times before. In just the last decade they have produced multiple heroic late comebacks to win the Champions League final – the 2014 title won in extra time and the 2016 win on penalties against local rivals Atletico Madrid after a last-gasp equalizer.

Even their run to the 2022 Champions League crown under new manager Carlo Ancelotti was filled with late drama. Epic comeback wins against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City all went down to the final minutes.

So when Paz cut inside to fire home an 85th minute winner, every Real Madrid fan knew this was right in keeping with the club’s glorious European history. Their love for late dramatic Champions League comebacks is unmatched. As the famous Bernabeu chant goes, “How could I not love you, if you won the European Cup over and over again?”

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Napoli exit but gave Real Madrid tough test

While Real Madrid finished top of Champions League Group F, their 4-2 win over second-place Napoli came only after an intense battle. The Italian side made life extremely difficult for the reigning European champions.

Napoli has proven itself one of the most exciting and dynamic teams in Europe this season. 22-year-old Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia produced moments of pure skill and attacking threat, while holding midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa impressed box-to-box.

Napoli also refused to give up after falling behind twice. Captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo assisted both their goals, first for striker Gio Simeone then midfielder Anguissa. Even after Nico Paz’s late goal for 3-2, Napoli continued fighting until the final whistle.

With only one defeat from their six group stage matches, Napoli deserves immense credit. Their all-action, pressing style unsettled Real Madrid for long periods. With the heartbreak of previous eliminations, Napoli is still searching for that defining Champions League run.

There is a sense that this current Napoli squad could achieve something special with its mix of emerging young talent and experienced leaders like Di Lorenzo. If they maintain this rate of progress, Italy could soon have another Champions League contender to match the traditional powers of AC Milan and Juventus.

Conclusion

In a pulsating final Champions League group match, Real Madrid emerged 4-2 victors over a courageous Napoli side. An early goal from Gio Simeone and a second half equalizer by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa saw Napoli twice come from behind.

But Jude Bellingham’s 15th goal in 16 matches gave Real Madrid the lead before 19-year-old substitute Nico Paz fired home an 85th minute winning strike. Joselu added a stoppage time fourth to round off another dramatic European night for Real Madrid.

The result allows Real Madrid to clinch first place in Group F and continue their quest for a record-extending 15th Champions League title. Napoli deserves immense credit for their intense, pressing performance and for twice equalizing. But Real Madrid once again showed their pedigree when it counts most, with emerging superstar Bellingham again at the heart of their success.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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