GROUP F – Wednesday 18th September 2013
NAPOLI 2-1 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Last season’s beaten finalists were beaten by a very good performance from Rafa Benitez’s Napoli. The game didn’t end well for Dortmund who had their keeper Roman Weidenfeller and manager Jurgen Klopp both sent off in different incidents.
Both teams started brightly with Dortmund playing their usual brand of flair and counter-attacking football, against a Napoli side that are very good and effective in possession, with Dortmund starting marginally the better. The impressive Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang found himself on the bench for Dortmund in a change which could have proved crucial in the outcome. The first chances of note fell to Napoli when first Lorenzo Insigne drove just wide, the Higuain missed a one on one thanks to a brilliant tackle by Hummels.
Dortmund then responded in kind and it was star performer Robert Lewandowski who raced though one on one only for his tame effort to hit Pepe Reina in goal.
Napoli’s first came when Gonzalo Higuain pounced on a brilliant cross to head Napoli into the lead which also involved a bit of controversy. Juan Camilo Zuniga tried going past Kevin Grosskreutz, with the Dortmund player clearly kicking it out for a corner, manager Jurgen Klopp was angry at this decision and started a tired against the forth official. Neven Subotic who was off the pitch receiving treatment for a cut head was allowed back on for the corner but a quick corner was taken and eventually worked to a wide position to be played back in the box for Higuain to pounce. This only added to Klopp’s anger who then sarcastically applauded the referee, before being sent to the stands for his dissent. UEFA will now make a decision over Klopp’s punishment.
To add insult to injury goal Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller was also shown a straight red card at the end of the first half for a deliberate hand ball out side of his area.
The second half started well with Napoli coming out on top of the early exchanges with their man advantage, before a moment of brilliance in the 67th minute when Insigne added to Napoli’s lead with a brilliantly positioned free kick. The Ball was positioned to the left of Langerak’s goal, and up stepped the left footed Insigne to curl the ball around the wall into the top corner of the net. Such was the accuracy of the kick, the ball could not be closer to both the bar and post.
With the game in the dying stages, a mazey run by Marco Reus skinning 3 players on his way to the dead ball line pulled it back towards substitute Aubameyang. Zuniga stuck a leg out to stop it from getting to its target, only for the ball to beat Pepe Reina hit the post, bounce behind the line and Reina to dive and scoop it back. The goal was given however the ball initially looked as though it bounced along the line, subsequent replays showing that it was over.
Dortmund pressed in the dying seconds of the match to little avail and Napoli held on to come away from the game with a much deserved win.
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