Feb 15, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Benzema (18'), Kroos (49'), Casemiro (54')
Ramos (17'), Modric (52')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Insigne (8')
Zielinski (38'), Mertens (76')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 3-1 Napoli - as it happened

Zinedine Zidane appears prior to the game between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna on January 9, 2016
© AFP
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash between Real Madrid and Napoli from the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid welcomed Napoli to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Lorenzo Insigne sent Napoli into an eighth-minute lead on the night, but Karim Benzema headed Real Madrid level in the 18th minute and that was how the score stood at the interval.

Toni Kroos sent Real Madrid ahead early in the second period, however, before Casemiro made it 3-1 in the 54th minute to leave the holders with a two-goal lead ahead of the second leg next month.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live Champions League coverage continues from the Bernabeu as Real Madrid welcome Napoli for the first leg of their last-16 affair. Holders Real Madrid are the favourites to progress from this two-legged tie, but Napoli topped their Champions League group for the first time this season and are also going well in Serie A. It should be a cracking match-up. Stay tuned for live updates!

6.49pmTonight will be just the third fixture between these two teams following their meeting in the first round of the 1987-88 European Cup. A 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu saw Real Madrid take control of the tie, before a 1-1 draw in Naples allowed the Spanish giants to progress 3-1 on aggregate.

6.52pmHowever, incredibly, Real Madrid have been eliminated in seven of their last eight two-legged ties with Italian opposition in the European Cup. The only exception to that rule came against Roma in last season's round of 16. Right, enough of that, let's have a look at the team news from Madrid...

6.55pmTEAMS!

REAL: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; James, Benzema, Ronaldo

NAPOLI: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Zielinski, Diawara, Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne


6.58pmReal Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has scrapped his 3-5-2 formation from the Osasuna clash at the weekend to revert to a standard 4-3-3, and James Rodriguez is the player chosen to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the final third. Gareth Bale, meanwhile, is NOT in the 18-man squad after only just returning from an ankle problem. Dani Carvajal replaces the injured Danilo at right-back, while Zidane's first-choice midfield sees Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos all selected.

James Rodriguez celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Eibar on April 9, 2016© AFP


7.02pmAs for Napoli, centre-back Raul Albiol and attacker Jose Callejon both return to their former club. Elseid Hysaj also starts after missing the Italian side's 2-0 win over Genoa at the weekend, while Piotr Zielinski, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, starts in the middle of midfield. Allan, Jorginho and Arkadiusz Milik are among Maurizio Sarri's options on the bench tonight.

7.05pmThe two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening at the Bernabeu. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with Real Madrid. Unbeaten in the group stage, Los Blancos are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the seventh successive season as they continue their fight to become the first team to retain the Champions League title.

7.08pmThis is the 20th consecutive season that Real Madrid have made it to the knockout stage of this competition, while they have reached AT LEAST the semi-finals in each of the last six seasons, which is a quite stunning record. To make the round of 16 once again, Zinedine Zidane's side finished second in Group F – two points behind the group winners Borussia Dortmund, who lost 1-0 at Benfica last night.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016© SilverHub


7.12pmReal Madrid actually conceded 10 times in their six group-stage matches, while a 2-2 draw with Dortmund in their final fixture saw the German outfit top the section. Indeed, that draw with the Bundesliga side saw Real Madrid's eight-match winning streak in European home fixtures come to an end.

7.15pmOverall, Los Blancos have won 28 of their last 33 Champions League home games, losing just once - 4-3 against Schalke 04 in the round of 16 during the 2014-15 campaign. What's more, the Spanish outfit have actually won 22 of their last 31 home matches against Italian opposition.

7.18pmReal Madrid have also scored in each of their last 33 Champions League home games, which is the longest run in the competition. History tells us that retaining the Champions League is an impossible task, but Zidane's side are very well placed. Of course, they will need luck and a number of things to go their way, but I fancy them this season, especially with Bale on the cusp of a return.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane celebrate after the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016© AFP


7.22pmReal Madrid are also going very, very well in La Liga this season. The Madrid giants top the table – one point ahead of second-place Barcelona – and also still have two games in hand. They were knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage by Celta Vigo, but the double is very much on this term. At the weekend, Zidane's side recorded a hard-fought 3-1 win at Osasuna.

7.25pmAs for Napoli, this is only the Italian side's second appearance in the last-16 stage of the Champions League and they are seeking to make the quarter-finals for the first time. They lost to Chelsea at this stage of the 2011-12 competition – letting a 3-1 first-leg lead slip as they suffered a 4-1 defeat in the reverse match in London. It would be fair to say that they lack experience in this competition.

7.28pmNapoli had a fairly favourable Champions League group this season, with the Italians joined by Benfica, Besiktas and Dynamo Kiev in Group B. A total of 11 points saw them top the section for the first time and incredibly, seven of their 11 points came on the road. The Serie A side have previously won twice away to Spanish opponents in Europe, but are without a victory in their last four against La Liga sides.

Napoli's coach Maurizio Sarri looks on during the UEFA Europa League match between Napoli and Club Brugge KV on September 17, 2015© Getty Images


7.32pmReal Madrid might be the favourites tonight, but Napoli are currently on an 18-game unbeaten run in all competitions. That run of form has seen them make the knockout stage of this competition, the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and occupy third position in Serie A. They are nine points behind the leaders and champions Juventus, but just two points behind second-place Roma after 24 games.

7.35pmNapoli will enter this match off the back of a 2-0 home win over Genoa on Friday night, while they put seven past Bologna in their last away match on February 4. In all competitions, Napoli are actually unbeaten on their travels since suffering a 2-1 loss at Juventus in the league on October 29.

7.38pm

7.42pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period in the Spanish capital. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium. There is just something about the Bernabeu on these Champions League nights. Let's hope for an entertaining fixture!

0 minKICKOFF! Real Madrid kick things off at the Bernabeu...

1 min... SAVE! Real Madrid almost take the lead inside 20 seconds as Ronaldo drives down the left before setting up Benzema with a low cross, but the striker's effort is saved by Reina!

3 minNapoli are yet to settle here as Real Madrid continue to boss the possession. Benzema has already had a super chance to make the breakthrough and it does appear that the visitors will have to ride an early storm in this match. It is so important that the Italian side stay in this last-16 tie tonight.

5 minSmart goalkeeping from Navas as the Real Madrid stopper comes out to collect a sweeping cross from Insigne, which had caused Ramos a problem inside the box. First sign of the Napoli counter-attack.

7 minPossession football from the home side in the last few minutes as they pass and probe in the Napoli half of the field. Casemiro looks to find Ronaldo with a deep cross, but Albiol is on hand to clear and Napoli can clear their lines. It has been a very entertaining opening seven minutes here.

8 minGOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Napoli (Insigne)

9 minOh my word! Napoli make the breakthrough in the eighth minute of this match as Insigne curls a quite wonderful effort into the far corner after spotting that Navas was in a poor position. It is a sensational strike from the Italian, and Real Madrid are behind in this last-16 tie.

11 minIt has been a decent response from the home side as they pass and probe in the final third, but Napoli are so dangerous on the counter-attack as they look to spring every chance that arrives.

12 minCHANCE! Another chance for Benzema after Ronaldo had found the striker's head inside the Napoli box, but the Frenchman's effort is weak and it goes away from the Napoli goal.

15 minStill an awful long way to go in this last-16 tie, let alone tonight's match. But Napoli have their away goal and that could be so important. I fancy them to score again as well, although I do expect Real Madrid to get going in the final third. It is such a fascinating game of football in the Spanish capital.

17 minNapoli are full of ideas when they break into Real Madrid's half of the field, and Ramos does not look comfortable when he is isolated with the away side's front three. I can already hear some whistles from the home supporters, who are not happy with their team's start to this match.

17 minBOOKING! Ramos (Real Madrid) is booked for a poor tackle on Diawara.

18 minA lot of frustrated faces in the home crowd at the moment as Napoli continue to impress with their ability in possession, and indeed on the counter-attack. Benzema has had two super chances already, but neither have been taken. Ronaldo looks the player most likely to make things happen.

18 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Napoli (Benzema)

19 minAnd there is the leveller! Benzema has missed two big chances tonight, but he takes the third as the striker heads a wonderful Carvajal cross into the back of the net. We are all square tonight.

22 minWell, sometimes these last-16, two-legged affairs can be a little bit cagey. That has not been the case tonight. It has been a wonderful opening 22 minutes of football, with both teams contributing to the action. It was so important that Real Madrid hit back quickly and they managed just that.

24 minJames Rodriguez is seeing plenty of the ball in wide positions at the moment and suddenly Napoli are a little bit nervy as Real Madrid continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field.

26 minBenzema has taken some criticism from his own supporters this season, but the Frenchman just loves these big Champions League nights and the striker has been heavily involved in the opening 26 minutes. Still 1-1 on the night, but Real Madrid are the better team at the moment.

28 minKroos looks to shape a pass towards James after being afforded too much space outside the Napoli box, but Reina is out to claim. Moments later, Ronaldo has freedom inside the Napoli area, but the offside flag is raised. The visitors are starting to live a little bit dangerously here.

29 minCHANCE! Sensational chance for the home side to take the lead as Ronaldo is released by Modric inside the Napoli box, but the Portuguese somehow fires over the crossbar!

31 minLittle under 15 minutes of the first period remaining and Napoli just cannot get going at the moment as Real Madrid squeeze high up the field and employ a high-press. The visitors were so impressive in the early stages, but Los Blancos are very much in control of this clash at the moment.

32 minModric has one deflected wide of the post as Real Madrid continue to threaten here.

34 minReal Madrid again have the chance to counter-attack as Modric releases Benzema, but Albiol just about manages to make the challenge when Ronaldo was free in a wide position. Napoli have a rare chance to threaten through Hamsik down the other end, but his low effort is wide of the post.

36 minWell, 36 minutes on the clock and we are locked at 1-1. Napoli took the lead in the eighth minute through Insigne, but Real Madrid were level 10 minutes later through the head of Benzema. Since then, Real Madrid have been pressing for a second, with Napoli mostly being forced to defend.

38 minNapoli break down the right through Callejon, who delivers into the Real Madrid box, but there are no takers after Insigne had been fouled previously in the move. Napoli had a decent shout for a free kick there and would have surely preferred that to the advantage being played out wide.

38 minBOOKING! Zielinski (Napoli) is booked for a foul on Casemiro.

41 minNapoli clear their lines as Real Madrid threaten with a couple of corners in quick succession. It is the away supporters making most of the noise at the moment as their team close on a half-time draw at the Bernabeu. That away goal from Insigne could prove to be so crucial in this last-16 tie.

42 minCHANCE! Stunning chance for Real Madrid to score a second as Ronaldo shapes a sensational cross into Benzema inside the Napoli box, but the striker somehow places wide!

44 minBenzema has one goal tonight, but he might have had four or five!

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Napoli

8.34pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 1-1. Insigne sent Napoli into an eighth-minute lead at the Bernabeu with a wonderful curling effort, but Benzema levelled the scores in the 18th minute. Since then, it has been pretty much all one-way traffic from the home side, but Benzema has passed up chance after chance to score a second.

8.39pmSTATISTICS! Real Madrid have dominated the possession with 62%, while they had 11 attempts in the first period, although only three of those were on target. Napoli, meanwhile, managed just one attempt on target - Insigne's goal. It has not been a particularly dirty game in terms of challenges, but the referee has issued two bookings - Ramos in the 17th minute and Zielinski in the 38th minute.

8.44pmBENCH WATCH! Zidane has plenty of firepower on his bench tonight, with Isco, Lucas Vasquez and Alvaro Morata all available for the Frenchman in the second period. Napoli, meanwhile, have the likes of Jorginho, Milik and Allan in reserve. Plenty of talent and goals on the sidelines in Madrid.

46 minRESTART! Napoli resume the action in Madrid...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will already have alterations in mind for the second period.

49 minIt has been a decent start to the second period from Napoli, who have enjoyed plenty of the ball as they look to start on the front foot. Hamsik looks to release Mertens inside the Real Madrid box, but the pass just has too much weight and Navas can come out of his goal to collect.

49 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Napoli (Kroos)

50 minReal Madrid take the lead in the 49th minute as Ronaldo does brilliantly to dribble into the Napoli half before settling and picking out Kroos, who passes the ball into the bottom corner. Some effort!

52 minCallejon hits one from distance as Napoli look to hit back, but the attacker's effort is deflected behind and Real Madrid have a corner to defend. The visitors are still very much in this tie.

52 minBOOKING! Modric (Real Madrid) is booked for a late tackle on Hamsik.

54 minGOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Napoli (Casemiro)

55 minOh my good grief what has happened! Real Madrid score a third on the night and it comes from Casemiro, who absolutely rattles a volley into the far corner of the net. It is a once-in-a-lifetime strike from Casemiro, who hammered the ball past Reina to put Los Blancos in a strong position.

57 minNapoli are still in this last-16 tie at 3-1, but another for Real Madrid would make things very difficult for the Italian outfit. Little over 30 minutes of this first leg remaining in the Spanish capital tonight.

59 minEnd-to-end football in the last couple of minutes as both teams continue to threaten. Mertens uses his pace to drive through a couple of challenges and break into the Real Madrid box, but Varane does enough to prevent the Belgian from having a shot. Still 3-1 to the home side on the night.

62 minNapoli have the chance to threaten from a free kick just outside the Real Madrid box...

63 min... Ghoulam curls the set piece into the stands.

65 minMarcelo hits one on the half volley for Real Madrid, but his effort was always clearing the stands. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining and still no movement on either bench at the moment.

67 minI would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals in this match as both teams continue to commit players in the final third. Casemiro has a go once again, but this time his effort is wide.

68 minCHANCE! Super chance for Mertens to score a second for Napoli after being set up by Callejon inside the Real Madrid box, but the Belgian somehow curls the ball over the crossbar!

70 minCHANCE! Mertens has another super chance for Napoli, but Navas is out to make the save. Mertens is starting to find space inside the Real Madrid box here!

71 minREAL MADRID SUB! Pepe replaces Ramos for the home side.

74 minSAVE! Super goalkeeping from Reina as the Napoli goalkeeper saves from James after the Colombian had looked to flick the ball into the bottom corner. Big moment there!

75 minNAPOLI SUB! Allan replaces Zielinski for the away side.

76 minBOOKING! Mertens (Napoli) is booked for a late tackle on Casemiro.

76 minREAL MADRID SUB! Vasquez replaces James for Real Madrid.

78 minLittle over 10 minutes of this first leg remaining and you just sense that Napoli need to score a second to stand a chance in the second leg next month. Real Madrid are quite comfortable at 3-1.

81 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Callejon has the ball in the back of the net for Napoli, but the offside flag is raised. It was the correct decision from the official.

82 minREAL MADRID SUB! Morata replaces Benzema for Real Madrid.

84 minModric curls one over the crossbar as Real Madrid threaten a fourth goal once again.

84 minNAPOLI SUB! Milik replaces Hamsik for the away side.

85 minCHANCE! Marcelo fires wide of the post after Ronaldo had provided the left-back with the perfect chance to score Real Madrid's fourth goal. Ronaldo has been so unselfish tonight!

88 minPossession football from Real Madrid as we enter the final stages of this match.

90 minI should not imagine that there will be too much added time tonight.

90 min+1We are into the first of three added minutes here.

90 min+3Napoli continue to commit players forward, but they are running out of time and it does appear that they will enter the second leg next month with a 3-1 deficit. Tough, but not impossible.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 3-1 Napoli

9.38pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Real Madrid running out 3-1 winners in the first leg of their last-16 clash with Napoli. The tie is still alive ahead of the second leg in Naples, but Real Madrid are the big favourites to progress. Until next time!

Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne scores the opening goal against Fiorentina during the Coppa Italia Cup final on May 3, 2014
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