In a thrilling Champions League clash, Napoli didn’t quite replicate the dominating performances from last year’s group stage but managed to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Braga on Wednesday.
The decisive moment arrived in the 88th minute when Braga defender Sikou Niakate found himself on the wrong end of luck, deflecting an unfortunate own goal off a cross delivered by Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski. It was a cruel twist of fate for the home team, occurring just moments after Bruma had drawn the hosts level. Follow your favourite Champions League team with attractive football betting odds from Nextbet.
The early stages of the match saw Napoli’s captain, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, find the back of the net in first-half stoppage time. This crucial goal came to fruition after Victor Osimhen executed a precise nod-back from a well-placed cross courtesy of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Osimhen, eager to make his mark, had earlier struck the crossbar in a display of Napoli’s attacking prowess.
In the parallel Group C fixture, 14-time Champions League winner Real Madrid clinched a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Union Berlin, with Jude Bellingham sealing the deal with a stoppage-time goal.
Napoli, a quarterfinalist last season, continues its journey in the Champions League under the guidance of new coach Rudi Garcia, who succeeded Luciano Spalletti. Spalletti, the former coach, played a pivotal role in Napoli’s triumph in Serie A, marking their first league title since the era of the legendary Diego Maradona.
Despite not replicating the dominating performances of last season’s group stage, Napoli remains a formidable force in the Champions League, having won five out of six matches and scored an impressive tally of 20 goals during the previous campaign.
For Braga, this marked their return to the Champions League group stage after an 11-year hiatus, navigating their way through two qualifying rounds to earn this coveted opportunity. Get the latest updates from the Champions League only on Nextbet Sports.