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Friday, March 31, 2023

Champions League: Real Madrid and Napoli in the quarterfinals

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Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) and Eder Militao (Real) swapping shirts
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After the 5: 2 at Anfield Road, a 0: 0 home draw against Liverpool was enough for the Madrilenians to advance. The Neapolitans won the round of 16 second leg in front of their home crowd against Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 and progressed with a total score of 5-0. Previously, Benfica Lisbon, Chelsea, FC Bayern, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Manchester City had bought the ticket for the round of eight. The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place in Nyon on Friday.

Fast-paced game at the Bernabeu

A fast-paced game developed in the Estadio Bernabeu from the start, in which the hosts had the better chances. Vinicius Junior failed from close range at Liverpool goalie Alisson (15th), who also steered a long-range shot by Eduardo Camavinga with his fingertips onto the crossbar (20th). The “Reds” rarely became a threat: Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was there on one occasion by Darwin Nunez (7th) and defused a shot by Cody Gakpo (36th).

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After the change of sides, Real kept the pressure on, Federico Valverde (53rd) and Karim Benzema (69th) missed good opportunities. In the 79th minute, Vinicius Junior failed to hit the ball properly from a good position, but was able to play for Benzema from a seated position, who only had to complete the orphaned goal. Before and after, Liverpool never gave the impression of being able to turn the knockout duel around.

Injured Alaba was missing

The English failed to achieve the desired revenge for the Champions League final they lost to Real last year. In contrast, Los Blancos, who are still missing David Alaba with a hamstring injury, celebrated a successful dress rehearsal for the Clasico against FC Barcelona on Sunday.

As in Madrid, the visiting team failed to catch up in Naples. Frankfurt, sent onto the pitch with a back four by coach Oliver Glasner, presented themselves with commitment, but without top striker Randal Kolo Muani, who was suspended, could not really put the southern Italians under pressure at any stage.

The leaders of the Italian Serie A proved to be superior to the Hessians in practically every respect, the logical consequence was the 1-0 just before the break. After a Matteo Politano cross, Victor Osimhen headed the ball in a remarkable manner. In the 53rd minute, the Nigerian goal-getter followed up from close range after a pass by Giovanni di Lorenzo, and Piotr Zielinski made it 3-0 from a penalty kick (64′).

Before the game, there had been serious riots in downtown Naples, apparently caused by Eintracht fans interacting with Ultras from Atalanta Bergamo. Glasner condemned the incidents, as did Eintracht board member Philipp Reschke and Naples Mayor Gaetano Manfredi.

Source: Nachrichten

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