Victor Osimhen scored his 20th goal of the season as Napoli defeated Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 at home in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 clashes on Tuesday night.
Frankfurt kicked the ground running in the early minutes of the game, launching several attacking threats in Napoli’s half but were handed their first setback in the 36th minute when Napoli were awarded a penalty following a foul on Osimhen.
However, Kevin Trapp, who was the penalty shootouts hero when Frankfurt won the UEFA Europa League last year, yet again came through for his team as he pulled off an impressive effort to save Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s spot kick.
Five minutes before the halftime break, Osimhen put Hirving Lozano’s through pass from the top right flank past the goalkeeper to place Napoli ahead as the Italian side went into the break with a goal advantage.
It was the Nigerian international’s eighth goal in eight consecutive matches across all competitions for Napoli this season.
Two minutes before the hour mark, Frankfurt’s woes were compounded when their in-form attacker Randal Kolo Muani was sent off following a harsh tackle on Frank Anguissa during a 50/50 contest.
Italy international Giovanni Di Lorenzo would seal the victory for Napoli with his 65th-minute goal thanks to a classic back-heel pass from Kvaratskheli as Luciano Spalletti and his team headed into the second leg in Italy with a vital victory.
Meanwhile, defending champions Real Madrid dismantled Liverpool 5-2 in their backyard at Anfield Stadium in the other round of 16 fixtures of the night.
It was Liverpool, on a quest for revenge following Real’s triumph over the Reds in the final of the Champions League in the 2019/20 season and the immediate past season, that took an early lead in the encounter.
Inside the opening 14 minutes of the game, Liverpool took the lead through Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah, who became Liverpool’s record European scorer with 42 goals surpassing Steven Gerrard but Real Madrid would soon pull off a stunning comeback.
In the 21st minute, Vinicius Junior pulled one back for the visitors from a curler inside the 18-yard area before equalizing for Real Madrid towards the cusp of the first half thanks to a massive howler by goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
The second half produced another three brilliant goals for the Los Blancos through Eder Militao and a brace by Karim Benzema, who was applauded by Liverpool supporters in the stands, to complete the comeback victory for Real Madrid.