Real Madrid welcome Napoli to the Bernabeu on Wednesday as the Champions League returns.
Down 3-1, Napoli pushed for another goal but could not finding it, wasting a couple quality chances that could come back to haunt the side in the second leg. Real would have the better scoring chances though made a mess of majority, and the halftime score stayed put at 1-1.
Holders Real Madrid have mastered the art of winning without hitting top gear this season.
Napoli thought they pulled a goal back through Callejon, who slid home Mertens' ball back across goal, but the winger was a yard offside.
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The Belgium worldwide forward has also netted four of Napoli's 11 goals in this season's Champions League and is the shortest priced player for the visitors to find the back of the net, offered at 2/1 (3.00) to score anytime by Betfair.
Maurizio Sarri and his Napoli team can take heart from the fact that Madrid do tend to struggle against Italian sides. We're going step by step and game by game.
Now, one of those goals was somewhat lucky - Casemiro's goal was ridiculous - but both were the result of those halftime adjustments. "The Bernabeu is an intimidating stadium to play at but the only way to get past Real Madrid is to be courageous and go there with intent", Napoli and Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina told radio station Onda Cero.
Cristiano Ronaldo has set a new personal best for assists in a single Champions League campaign with Real Madrid.
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The hosts once again leaned on their magnificent attitude towards attacking football, entertaining their fans as they claimed a vital lead from the first leg. Their Champions League form is imperious having made the knock out stages every season for the last 20 and have made at least the semi-finals in the last six.
"If you put in a good performance in one game of a tie, that doesn't mean you'll go on to win the competition".
Napoli are deeper than they were even a year ago, and certainly much deeper than they last time they got into this round in 2012, but they're not quite there yet as a complete team at this level.
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