·3 October 2023
·3 October 2023
The world anticipated a nail-biter between Real Madrid and Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Matchday 2 of the competition. The clash on Tuesday night did not disappoint.
For 90 minutes, the two elite teams contested in a battle that exhibited only the highest quality of football. Both sides created some fine openings, but it was Carlo Ancelotti’s side that spent longer under pressure.
Napoli took the early lead at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium through Leo Østigard before Vinicius Jr equalised nine minutes later.
Jude Bellingham gave the visitors the lead heading into half-time, but Piotr Zielinski levelled the scores once more from the spot in the second period.
The final twist came 12 minutes from time when Fede Valverde sent a scorching volley that hit the crossbar and rebounded off goalkeeper Alex Meret into the net to hand Real Madrid a 3-2 win.
Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings of the Merengues’ stars on the night.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper had a solid and busy day at the office in what was his first big test in the white colours. Safe to say that he did well overall, despite the early mistake leading to the opening goal.
One of the more bland Real Madrid players on the field. Carvajal lacked clear conviction in the final third and did not push forward in attack to the capacity Ancelotti would have liked. Held his own defensively, regardless.
The captain received his three-game suspension in La Liga earlier in the day and unsurprisingly started the UEFA Champions League match in light of the ban. Nacho did not look particularly shaken up by the developments off the field and dished out a professional display.
Was unlucky to concede a penalty in the second half as the ball hit his hand from point-blank range.
Rudiger was at his no-nonsense style of defence against the Italian opposition and was crucial in cutting off the likes of Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Was absolutely gargantuan with his interceptions in the second period.
Started at left-back for the second consecutive game despite the availability of both Ferland Mendy and Fran Garcia. Camavinga held his own in defence and played a critical role with his distribution on the night. Was awarded the assist for Jude Bellingham’s goal.
Faced significantly more struggles in defence in the second half when Napoli looked re-inspired. Left the field for Mendy after the hour mark.
The Frenchman maintained his hot streak of form in the middle of the park against Napoli. Tchouameni’s distribution was impeccable, and while he was defensively on point, he did not hesitate to push forward with incisive passes.
Brilliant. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)
The Uruguayan added an element of threat in Napoli’s box with his constant attacking runs. Valverde was reliable on the ball and silent with his clinical distribution.
Launched an absolute belter in the 78th minute to create Real Madrid’s third goal out of nothing. It may have gone down as Meret’s own goal, but Valverde should consider the goal his own.
The German veteran was handed a start ahead of Luka Modric and showed exactly why Ancelotti considers him to be essential.
Kroos was one of Real Madrid’s primary weapons to open up the Napoli defence. As the game progressed, it became clear that the German was Real Madrid’s orchestrator-in-chief.
Provided three key passes and completed seven of his nine attempted long balls. Left the field for Modric in the 63rd minute.
How long can Bellingham keep going? The English youngster continues to shock fans across the globe with his brilliant run of form as he once again dished out a man-of-the-match-worthy performance.
Another day, another goal. (Photo by CARLO HERMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Bellingham got the assist for Vinicius Jr.’s equaliser early in the game for his clever piece of work. He then displayed exquisite ball control to drift past five Napoli defenders and skilfully put the ball past Alex Meret to put his side in front.
Rodrygo just could not get going once again as he struggled in the final third and missed some clear chances. At this point, it is clear that he needs serious attention for his confidence to stay unaffected. Came off for Joselu in the 75th minute.
For the first time this season, Vini Jr. appeared to enjoy his new role in the 4-4-2 system. The Brazilian star was a lifeline down the left, constantly cutting in centrally and threatening Napoli’s goal. His goal on the night came through a similar move.
Completed the game with three successful dribbles and two shots blocked.
Took charge of dictating Real Madrid’s play after Kroos’ exit and was heavily involved in the buildup.
Served as a solid defensive addition in the second half when Napoli were relentless in attack.
Barely made a touch after coming on.
Came on for Vini Jr in the 84th minute. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.