Osimhen fires Napoli to last 16, Onyedika’s Brugge make history

Osimhen fires Napoli to last 16, Onyedika’s Brugge make history


Free-scoring Napoli moved into the knockout stages of the Champions League with an entertaining win over Ajax.

They raced into a two-goal lead as Hirving Lozano sent a looping header into the far corner and Giacomo Raspadori thumped a left-footed drive into the roof of the net.

Ex-Everton man Davy Klaasen’s header reduced Ajax’s arrears after the break, before Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s penalty, harshly awarded for handball against Jurrien Timber after a Video Assistant Referee review, extended Napoli’s lead back to two goals.

The visitors were then given a late penalty when Juan Jesus was adjudged to have fouled Brian Brobbey, with former Tottenham forward Steven Bergwijn converting to cause a nervy finale.

However, those nerves were settled when Victor Osimhen harried Daley Blind into a mistake and tapped into the empty net for his first Champions League goal of the season.

The result leaves Napoli, who have now scored 17 goals in their four group games, in pole position to top group A, at the expense of Liverpool.

They can be overtaken by Jurgen Klopp’s side, who must win their remaining games by large margins to have any chance of topping the group.

Atletico 0-0 Brugge

Club Brugge, which parade Nigerian midfielder Raphael Onyedika, held Atletico Madrid 0-0 on the road to become only the second Belgian club to reach the round of 16 of the Champions League.

The setback leaves Atletico in a difficult position to advance from Group B. Club Brugge moved to 10 points, six more than the Spanish club. Porto visits Bayer Leverkusen later Wednesday with both teams sitting on three points.

It was Atletico’s third straight match without a win in the European competition.

Antoine Griezmann started after Atlético and Barcelona reached a deal for his permanent transfer, but the France striker couldn’t give the hosts the spark they needed at the Metropolitano Stadium.

Griezmann had one of Atletico’s best scoring chances but couldn’t capitalize. The hosts also came close with a late close-range shot by Álvaro Morata that hit the face of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet before going wide, and Matheus Cunha also missed from close range in stoppage time. Mignolet made several saves throughout the match to stop Atlético’s attack.

Rangers 1-7 Liverpool

Liverpool survived an early scare to produce an emphatic win at Rangers, with Roberto Firmino inspiring a 7-1 triumph to edge towards the last 16.

Taking to the field with six changes from the weekend but retaining their 4-4-2 shape, Liverpool came up against a game Rangers side, who knew nothing but a win would do.

It showed in the early stages as the hosts battled for second balls and attacked with verve, and Rangers took the lead after 17 minutes as a simple pass cut the defence open and Scott Arfield finished brilliantly.

Liverpool restored parity soon after, and it was no surprise that it came through Firmino, who simply nodded home at the front post from a Kostas Tsimikas corner – his seventh goal of the season.

Harvey Elliott was a real positive, with his vibrancy picking up the ball on the right flank, showing more urgency than the majority of his team-mates as the Reds searched for another goal.

The goal came, unsurprisingly, through Firmino, who surged into space to coax a perfect cross from Joe Gomez and slide home past Allan McGregor for 2-1.

McGregor’s skewed clearance led to a third for the Reds, with a fine pass from Fabio Carvalho and a rabona flick from Firmino allowing Nunez to place it into the far corner.

On came Andy Robertson, Thiago, Mo Salah and Diogo Jota, and the latter pair combined three times in six minutes as Salah netted a stunning hat-trick with three assists from the No. 20 – the fastest-ever Champions League hat-trick.

To cap a stunning victory, there was a first Champions League goal for Elliott, hammering home after McGregor had swept away Jota’s effort for 7-1.

Three points leaves Liverpool needing to just avoid defeat at Ajax on October 26 to guarantee progress to the last 16, with Napoli having already qualified.

Barca 3-3 Inter

Barcelona are staring at an exit from the Champions League after drawing with Inter Milan at Camp Nou.

Barca went into their Group C match having won just one of their opening three games, following defeats against Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

They needed a victory in their quest to qualify for the knockout rounds.

But they were unable to get the result they needed as they drew 3-3 with Inter in Catalonia.

Ousmane Dembele’s 40th minute goal gave Barca the lead.

But Inter turned the game on its head after the break.

Gerard Pique gifted Nicolo Barella an equaliser five minutes after half-time.

Inter then took the lead in the 63rd minute after profiting from some more poor defending from the home side.

Latauro Martinez controlled a cross-field ball, cut inside and then fired his effort into the net via both posts.

Barcelona tried with all their might to find an equaliser and they got the goal they needed with Robert Lewandowski netting in the 82nd minute

Inter then re-took the lead in the 89th minute through Robin Gosens, only for Lewandowski to net his second in stoppage-time and keep Barcelona’s slim hopes of progressing to the knockout rounds alive.

Read more: Champions League 2022/23: Fixtures, Draw, Dates, Schedule, Final, Teams and Everything We Know So Far

Barcelona will exit the competition if Inter are able to beat Viktoria Plzen in their next Champions League match on October 26.