Osimhen Brace Helps Napoli Beat Eintracht Frankfurt To Reach UCL Quarter-Finals
posted by Dawson at Thursday, March 16, 2023 Comment | 0
Napoli reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the first time in their history, as the runaway Serie A leaders cruised to a 5-0 aggregate victory over Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt.
Frankfurt arrived in Naples with an enormous mountain to climb, and the Eagles knew they’d have to do it without their supporters inside the ground – although there was trouble in the city between hooligan firms and local police forces. Their task was huge, with the 2022 Europa League winners needing a three-goal win to progress to the last eight. Napoli had been beaten by this margin on their own turf just once since 2013, and they made their intentions clear early as Matteo Politano tested Kevin Trapp’s resolve in the opening minute.
Trapp had already made 22 saves in the competition before kick-off, and he was quickly busy again, this time denying the irrepressible Khvicha Kvaratskhelia after a trademark run at the heart of the defence. The Georgian would be denied once more before the break, but Frankfurt’s resolve was finally broken in first-half stoppage time. Politano’s cross from the right found the unmarked Victor Osimhen, who steered a delightful header into the far corner beyond the despairing Trapp, duly becoming the first Napoli player to score in both legs of a UCL knockout tie in the process.
That all but killed the tie, handing the Partenopei a three-goal advantage on aggregate and setting them up for a cruise through to the quarter-finals after HT – a task made even simpler by Osimhen doubling his tally within 10 minutes of the restart. Yet more brilliant build-up play saw Politano slot in Giovanni di Lorenzo, and the Napoli skipper drilled the ball across goal to find the Nigerian striker at the back post for a tap-in.
A miserable night for Oliver Glasner’s men got even more sour when they conceded a penalty thanks to a Djibril Sow trip on Piotr Zieliński inside the area. Despite Osimhen being on a hat-trick, Zieliński stepped up himself to convert from 12 yards and put the icing on the cake of an historic night in Napoli’s history.
NairaLux Man of the Match: Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
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