Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Real Madrid rallies to beat Napoli 3-1 in Champions League

Real Madrid rallies to beat Napoli 3-1 in Champions League

Napoli had a goal disallowed for offside in the 80th.

However, Real were level 10 minutes later as Karim Benzema head home Dani Carvajal's cross from the right flank for his 51st Champions League goal. Even a desperation change from Napoli, taking captain and key midfield playmaker Marek Hamsik off for striker Arkadiusz Milik, couldn't get them another goal, sinking them to a 3-1 defeat. It was soon 3-1 when Casemiro smashed a 25-yard volley across a helpless Pepe Reina and into the far corner.

Gareth Bale will have to wait for his return to action after three months out as the Welshman wasn't included in Zinedine Zidane's squad for Real Madrid's Champions League clash with Napoli on Wednesday.

The second leg is at the Stadio San Paolo on March 7. Man for man, no other team in the competition has such quality and strength in depth, except maybe perhaps Bayern Munich. "We proved that we can play, we made a few too many mistakes and that will push us forward for the future to believe in ourselves".

Zidane was named as Rafael Benitez's successor previous year and the former France worldwide guided Madrid to Champions League glory, beating rivals Atletico 5-3 on penalties in the final.

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The Serie A side have two former Madrid players in their XI in the shape of Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon.

Still, Napoli performed well as a whole and aren't in a bad position heading back to the Stadio San Paolo for the second leg in a few weeks.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo eyes a ball during a training session at the Valdebebas stadium ahead of Wednesday's Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Napoli, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.

Zidane said: "Napoli play good football".

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