Meret’s unfortunate play allows Real Madrid to defeat Napoli

12 minutes from the finish of an exciting match in Naples, Italian international goalie Meret was powerless to stop Federico Valverde’s powerful, deflected drive from crashing out against the bar and back into the goal off his outstretched arm.

The unfortunate rebound kept Madrid’s flawless group stage record intact and increased their lead over Braga, who earlier on Tuesday defeated bottom-place Union Berlin 3-2, by three points.

On Carlo Ancelotti’s return to southern Italy as the head coach of Napoli, Madrid’s other goals came from Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham, giving Madrid a lead at the break after the hosts’ Leo Ostigard had given them the lead in the 19th minute.

When he slammed in a 54th-minute penalty that was unfairly awarded for a Nacho handball while challenging Victor Osimhen, Piotr Zielinski had given Napoli confidence that they could build on a recent run of fine form.

Osimhen, a forward from Nigeria, was playing for Napoli after siding with his countrymen’s supporters after a dispute with the club over a racist video posted on social media.


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