Victor Osimhen scored his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season as Napoli reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
With Napoli leading the tie 2-0 on aggregate from the first leg, Osimhen stretched their overall advantage to three goals with a stunning header on the stroke of half-time.
He doubled Napoli’s lead on the other side of the interval when he tapped home Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s cross from close range after a well-worked move.
Piotr Zielinski won and scored a penalty just after an hour played to put the game to bed.
Early on, the game had started tightly but quickly opened up as it was clear Frankfurt were going to try to take the game to Napoli as they set up high up the pitch.
Mario Gotze had a good opportunity when he was slipped through on goal by Daichi Kamada, but was hesitant when Alex Meret rushed off his line to come and challenge for the ball and squandered a golden chance to pull Frankfurt back into the tie.
Despite Frankfurt’s effort to score their first goal of the tie, visiting goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was kept busy at the other end and made his best save to deny Khvicha Kvaratskhelia from close-range.
In the second minute of injury time at the end of the first-half, an unmarked Osimhen got the opener when he jumped high to reach Matteo Politano’s cross and guide the delivery back across Trapp’s goal and into the net.
Eight minutes into the second half, Osimhen had the ball in the net again. Following a very well-worked Napoli move, Kvaratskhelia curled a pass wide to Politano who slipped a ball to Di Lorenzo making an overlapping run. He squared the ball across the six-yard box and past Trapp for Osimhen, who knew exactly where he needed to be to tap his second into an empty net.
Despite being in complete control of the tie, Napoli continued to push forward and were rewarded when Zielinski was tripped by Djibril Sow inside the box and given a penalty with just under half an hour to play. Zielinski took the spot-kick himself and scored, firing the ball straight down the middle, concluding the scoring on a memorable evening for the hosts.
TALKING POINT – NAPOLI REACH UCL QUARTER-FINALS FOR FIRST TIME EVER
What a season this is turning out to be for Spalleti’s side. Napoli have finally reached a Champions League quarter-final, and it’s well overdue. Not only are they storming their way through Serie A, quickly chasing a first Scudetto title since the Diego Maradona-inspired season of 1990, but they’re doing it in Europe as well, and in style.
Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Matteo Politano showed why they’re one of the most exciting offensive trios in football, with both Kvaratskhelia and Politano playing a full part in Osimhen’s double.
Everyone will want to avoid Napoli in Friday’s draw.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – VICTOR OSIMHEN (NAPOLI)
No surprises here. Osimhen netted his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season to add to his first-leg goal which put Napoli well on their way to the last eight. Another couple for the Nigerian tonight takes his Champions League tally to four this season, which contributes to 50 goals in 90 appearances for Napoli.
He is also the first Napoli player to score in both legs of a Champions League knockout tie, and the first Nigerian to score twice in a Champions League knockout game.
World-class output from a world-class player.
NAPOLI: Meret 6, Di Lorenzo 8, Rrahmani 7, Kim 7, Rui 7, Anguissa 7, Lobokta 7, Zielinski 8, Politano 7, Osimhen 9, Kvaratskhelia 7
Subs: Jesus 6, Elmas 6, Ndombele 6, Lozano 6, Simone 6
FRANKFURT: Trapp 7, Tuta 6, Buta 6, N’Dicka 6, Knauff 6, Sow 6, Rode 6, Lenz 6, Gotze 6, Kamada 6, Borre 6
Subs: Jakic 6, Max 6, Alidou 6
16’ – CHANCE FOR NAPOLI! Kvaratskhelia slips the ball to Osimhen who opens up his body inside the box but his strike is weak and comfortably saved by Trapp, who collects the loose ball.
19’ – ANOTHER CHANCE FOR NAPOLI, TRAPP WITH ANOTHER GOOD SAVE! Piotr Zielinski dispossesses Dijbril Sow and feeds Kvaratskhelia, who runs at goal but drifts to the right before shooting from a tight angle, and Trapp saves at the near post.
31’ – OPPORTUNITY MISSED FOR FRANKFURT! Kamada sends a through-ball for Gotze to run onto, but he hesitates as Meret rushes off his line and recovers the ball on the edge of the box. A big chance for Frankfurt!
42’ – TRAPP DENIES KVARATSKHELIA! The Georgian drives towards goal from the left flank and has his shot from a tight angle turned behind for a corner. The goalkeeper then turns the following corner behind for another Napoli set-piece.
45’+2 – GOAL! NAPOLI 1-0 FRANKFURT (OSIMHEN) – Who else?! Osimhen, completely unmarked, jumps high and is at full stretch as he guides a Politano cross – which is slightly behind him – back across goal and into the net! Napoli lead!
53’ – GOAL! NAPOLI 2-0 FRANKFURT (OSIMHEN) – Kvaratskhelia curls a pass wide to Politano who slips a ball to Di Lorenzo making the overlap. The captain squares a ball past Trapp for Osimhen waiting on the line to tap in his second.
62’ – PENALTY TO NAPOLI! Zielinski is brought down by Sow and Taylor points to the spot!
64’ – GOAL! NAPOLI 3-0 FRANKFURT (ZIELINSKI) – Game, set, match! Zielinski fires his penalty down the middle of Trapp’s goal.
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