Reaction: Insigne goal gives Napoli hope against Real Madrid
16 February at 11:50
Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli suffered defeat at the hands of reigning European champions Real Madrid despite Lorenzo Insigne scoring the quickest goal by an away team in the champions league at the Bernabeu since 2007.Insigne’s superbly taken goal only gave the side from Naples the advantage for ten minutes before Karim Benzema leveled for Zinedine Zidane’s men. Toni Kroos gave the holders the lead with a well struck goal after excellent work by Christian Ronaldo.
Three minutes after the break and Madrid took a huge step into the next round when a sumptuous volley from Brazilian Casemiro beat Pepe Reina, leaving the Neopolitans with a massive task to overhaul their Spanish opponents in the return leg on March 7th.
Madrid came out of the traps early and forced Reina into a save after just 20 seconds from Benzema a true sign of intent from the Spanish league leaders,but Insigne after receiving a pass from Marik Hamsik let Madrid keeper Claudio Bravo grasping at thin air to stun the Real Madrid fans.
But Madrid unbeaten in 18 games and looking to reach a seventh straight quarter-final in truth dominated the game and probably should have won by a more comfortable margin. Napoli may rue the missed chance by Dries Mertens which could have closed the gap to one goal for the return leg.
A performance that promised more from Sarri’s men and this was echoed by Napoli president De Laurentiis, who in the post match interviews, criticised the teams fragile mentality during the game.
Napoli are Serie A’s top scorers this season and will need all their craft and guile in order to overcome this seemingly insurmountable mountain.