Napoli maintained their lead at the top of Champions League Group A after a hard-fought 3-0 win against Rangers at the Ibrox Stadium on Wednesday night on Matchday 2.
The Scottish side kept the Neapolitans at bay during the opening period but conceded through a Matteo Politano penalty midway through the second half and late goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Tanguy Ndombele completed the scoring.
After defeating 2019 winners Liverpool 4-1 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona a week earlier. The Premier League side had moved into second place with a late 2-1 victory over Ajax 24 hours earlier, so Luciano Spalletti’s side remain three points ahead.
Both Napoli and Rangers started with intent at an emotional Ibrox
Although Piotr Zielinski rattled the goalpost moments after kick-off. An emotional crowd filled a determined Rangers side with the confidence to attack the Serie A leaders and take an early advantage.
On 12 minutes, Scott Arfield forced Partenopei goalkeeper Alex Meret into a wonderful save with a long-range strike. Then Alfredo Morelos sent a low drive straight at the Italian, after being booked for an overzealous challenge on the goalline.
Napoli had previously looked set to take the lead when Zielinski played Giovanni Simeone through on goal, but Allan McGregor was quick off his line to smother the attempt. While an injury-time effort from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia curled narrowly past the hosts’ goalpost.
Politano opened the scoring, and Napoli took control
The match came to life again 10 minutes into the second half. First James Sands saw red for bringing down Simeone when through on goal. Zielinski had the resulting penalty saved, and Politano immediately fired past McGregor. The attacker was inside the area when the spot-kick struck, though, and the Polish midfielder had a second attempt saved as well.
Rangers remained camped in their own half, though, and on 66 minutes Borna Barisic raised his arm when blocking a Kvaratskhelia strike, and the Partenopei awarded another penalty. This time, Politano stepped forward to send a low shot out of the reach of the keeper.
Substitute Raspadori eventually put the game beyond the Scottish side. Playing a one-two with Mathías Olivera, holding off the challenge of a Rangers defender and firing left-footed past McGregor.
As the game moved into added time, the Partenopei broke away down the right wing once more and an Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa cut-back was fired into the net by Ndombele.
Napoli now face Ajax back-to-back over the next two matchdays, first travelling to the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam on 4 October 2022, after domestic and continental club campaigns have paused briefly for the international break.