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Rare Kroos goal helps Madrid to comeback win over Napoli

16 February 2017

Just look at how they came out at the first whistle: playing aggressively and confidently, looking to execute their gameplan no matter what Real Madrid did.

Real Madrid welcome Napoli to the Bernabeu on Wednesday as the Champions League returns.

From there on it was mostly one-way traffic through the first half.

The second leg is at the Stadio San Paolo on March 7.

Benzema had missed a clear chance inside the first minute but he made amends by levelling the scores with his 51st goal in the competition - one more than the previous best tally for a French player, set by Thierry Henry. Napoli lost 3-1 on aggregate.

Real were defending an enviable home record in the Champions League, having gone 11 games undefeated at the Bernabeu, but were facing a Napoli side in form, unbeaten in their last 18 matches in all competitions.

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Napoli had a goal disallowed for offside in the 80th.

This time Ronaldo was inch-perfect with his low cross for Benzema, but his effort was tipped onto the woodwork and behind by Reina. He had a quieter second half as Madrid rested in their 3-1 lead, but there was warm applause for the ex-Lyon player when he was substituted for Morata with time nearly up.

Napoli hopes Real Madrid's recent struggles against Italian teams will continue. Teenager Diawara took too many touches at times on the ball in deep areas, but in others he beat the press and got moves going.

Madrid now have a comfortable lead in the Spanish Liga, but at times have been less than impressive, it will be fascinating to see how they and an in-form Napoli perform in a game which offers no second chances.

Dries Mertens spurned a fantastic opportunity on 68 minutes, dragging a shot high and wide from Jose Callejon's close range cutback.

Before the match, Sarri said: 'It would be good if Maradona could speak to the side before the game.

Rare Kroos goal helps Madrid to comeback win over Napoli