Federico Valverde strengthened Real Madrid’s position in Group C of the Champions League with a thunderous goal in a 3-2 victory over Napoli on Tuesday night.
The trip to Naples was considered the most challenging group fixture for the Spanish giants, with Union Berlin and Braga completing Group C.
Napoli was a surprise contender in the competition last season, reaching the quarter-finals before being eliminated by fellow Italian side AC Milan. This led to expectations that the home side had a good chance of getting a result against Los Blancos.
However, Real Madrid emerged victorious in a closely contested match, moving three points ahead of their opponents at the top of the group.
Napoli 2-3 Real Madrid – How it happened
Leo Skiri Østigård put his side in front to solidify those beliefs further just shy of the 20-minute mark. The former Brighton defender scored from the rebound after Victor Osimhen had hit the crossbar following Kepa Arrizabalaga’s inability to deal with a cross.
The lead didn’t hold for long as Vinicius Junior scored from a tight angle shortly after a precise pass from Jude Bellingham. Moments later, Bellingham himself scored a magnificent solo goal that completely reversed the momentum. Bellingham appeared to have the freedom of Naples as he effortlessly glided past opposing players as if they weren’t even there before confidently finishing his run.
Polish midfielder – Piotr ZIelinski – scored a penalty to level the game up after a Nacho Fernandez handball in the 18 yard box. With the goal coming early in the second-half, the game was set up beautifully for someone to make themselves a hero on the night. Step up, Valverde.
Federico Valverde scores stunning goal to seal Real Madrid win
The game was hanging in the balance with both teams creating chances to win the game, but it took something special to win the game as Valverde scored an outrageous volley from outside the penalty area to secure a 3-2 win for his team. An out-swinging corner was headed clear by the Napoli defence, but the danger didn’t end there.
Valverde needed only one touch to set himself as the ball fell to the 25-year-old’s feet, before he unleashed a rocket of a strike towards goal. It has been put down as an Alex Meret own goal as the ball did hit the Napoli goalkeeper on the way into the net, but it does feel harsh for Valverde to not be credited with the goal.
Watch: Federico Valverde stuns Napoli with fierce volley
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 3, 2023