Napoli 1 True Madrid 3 (2-6 agg): Two-goal Ramos rises towards the significant occasion however again for holders
Sergio Ramos as soon as once more rose for the occasion because the centre-back’s double saw True Madrid come from behind to win 3-1 at Napoli and safe progression to the Champions League quarter-finals having a 6-2 aggregate triumph.
The Spain international has come up together with the goods on the huge stage for Madrid time and time again, like in final season’s Champions League final, and he allayed Madrid’s fears with two ambitions in fast succession right after the break to turn points about following Dries Mertens’ well-taken first-half opener.
The match lived up to its billing inside the opening 45 minutes, as Napoli took the game towards the reigning European champions and triggered them no finish of problems from the begin, just before at some point halving Madrid’s two-goal aggregate lead just prior to the half-hour mark – Mertens scoring his 17th objective in his final 16 games across all competitions.
Each sides had been then denied by the frame from the goal, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League purpose drought was extended to six matches, when Mertens went close to scoring his second.
But Napoli have been produced to rue their plethora of spurned first-half possibilities, as Ramos swiftly restored Madrid’s two-goal advantage early in the second half, just before then scoring once more to take his respective tally for the complete season to ten.
That speedy brace left the hosts totally deflated and Alvaro Morata produced the scoreline additional flattering in stoppage time.
Napoli lived as much as Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane’s expectations using a purposeful begin and carved Madrid open early on, but Marek Hamsik was a whisker away from meeting Lorenzo Insigne’s cut-back 12 yards out.
Hamsik did handle to have a shot away a number of moments later, though his try in the edge on the box went agonisingly wide on the right-hand post.
The hosts’ dominance showed no sign of letting up and they eventually broke the deadlock 24 minutes in.
Madrid had been dissected by a series of passes and Hamsik fed Mertens in to the left side with the box, with all the Belgian then coolly slotting into the bottom-right corner.
Ronaldo provided a reminder of his presence shortly immediately after, but his work came back off the right-hand post soon after he breezed into the region and skipped past Pepe Reina.
Napoli too were kept out by the post just prior to the interval – Mertens the 1 denied following the ball broke kindly for him within the area.
Madrid began the second half with a lot higher handle and intent, and they hauled themselves level around the night inside five minutes in the restart – Ramos meeting Toni Kroos’ left-wing corner having a glancing header that found the bottom-right corner.