Rangers suffer fifth straight CL loss as Napoli cruise to victory

Napoli heaped yet more misery on Rangers’ luckless European campaign on Wednesday night, as Giovanni Simeone’s double and a late Leo¬†Ostigard header secured a convincing 3-0 victory in the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti was adamant there was no chance of his side underestimating Rangers pre-match, in spite of a 7-1 defeat by Liverpool in their last Group A outing, but their ruthless performance told a different story.

The Italians, top of Serie A and leaders of Group A, demonstrated exactly why they are dominating on both domestic and European fronts with a display that blew the winless Scots away within 16 first-half minutes.

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Napoli’s Giovanni Simeone celebrates making it 1-0 vs Rangers

Simeone’s quick-fire double had Napoli cruising, before Ostigard powered a header beyond a helpless Allan McGregor from a pinpoint Giacomo Raspadori corner.

With a perfect set of results, ahead of a showdown with Liverpool next week, Napoli have become the first Italian side to win their opening five games of a Champions League campaign since Juventus achieved the same feat in 2004-05. They’ve also set a new club record of 12 consecutive wins in all competitions.

The Gers, contrastingly, have lost all five of their Group A games, conceding 19 in the process. They still have a slim chance of claiming a Europa League spot, at the expense of Ajax, but would need to better the 4-0 scoreline from their reverse fixture with the Dutch when the two sides meet in Glasgow on November 1.

How Napoli outclassed Rangers

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Napoli’s Giovanni Simeone celebrates as he makes it 2-0 vs Rangers

Last season’s Europa League finalists will be out of Europe altogether barring an improbable thrashing of Ajax in their concluding game at Ibrox in six days’ time.

Napoli, unbeaten in 16 games this season, were straight out of the blocks, scoring twice in the opening 16 minutes.

There were just 11 minutes on the clock when Giovanni Di Lorenzo sent the impressive Simeone down the right flank and despite the attention of defender Leon King, he fired emphatically past McGregor and in at the far post.

Four minutes later, Simeone headed home a cross from Mario Rui with defenders King and Ben Davies helpless either side.

The visitors rallied in the second period, restoring some beleaguered pride, before Ostigard rose to power Raspadori’s corner in at the back post, adding the gloss to a routine home win.

Tavernier: ‘Easy’ goals cost us

Captain James Tavernier told BT Sport:

“We are disappointed to lose the game. I felt we can take some positives from that compared to the other games we have played in the group.

“We let two easy goals in in the first half and I felt we had two good, big chances that could have levelled the game.

“We have to take the positives from the game and build on that. They took their chances but that is the level we are playing at and we have to learn from that.”

What’s next?

Rangers are back in Scottish Premiership action on Saturday when they travel to Aberdeen; kick-off 3pm. Their final Champions League group stage fixture on Tuesday November 1 will see them welcome Ajax to Ibrox.

Napoli host Sassuolo in Serie A on Saturday before a trip to Liverpool on Tuesday in their final Champions League group-stage fixture.

CL round-up: Late Lewandowski strike prevents early Barca exit

Robert Lewandowski scored a last-gasp equaliser to keep Barcelona in the Champions League following a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Inter Milan.

Ousmane Dembele had put Barcelona ahead in the 40th minute, but the opener was cancelled out 10 minutes later by Nicolo Barella.

Inter then went ahead just after the hour mark through Lautaro Martinez before Lewandowski’s first of the night, as Barcelona looked to have found a way back into the game.

They then found themselves behind again inexplicably when Robin Gosens’ 89th-minute goal restored the Italian side’s lead, but Lewandowski’s added-time header would ensure Barcelona’s exit from the competition was not confirmed, but
was out of their hands.

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Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich celebrates with Sadio Mane after scoring the second goal against Viktoria Plzen

Elsewhere in Group C, Leon Goretzka scored twice as Bayern Munich stormed to a 4-2 win over Viktoria Plzen.

The Bavarian outfit had found the net four times before the 35-minute mark, with Sadio Mane and Thomas Muller the others to put their names on the scoresheet and – despite two second-half goals from the home side – the result was not in doubt.

Napoli qualify, Liverpool run riot

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Mo Salah came off the bench to score a second-half hat-trick for Liverpool at Rangers in the Champions League

Mohamed Salah scored the fastest-ever Champions League hat-trick as Liverpool turned it on in the second half to thrash Rangers 7-1.

Scott Arfield had put the home side ahead before Roberto Firmino struck twice and from then on, the result was never in doubt, with Harvey Elliott and Darwin Nunez also finding the back of the Rangers net.

Also in Liverpool’s group, Napoli booked their place in the knockout stages with a 4-2 win over Ajax.

Marseille ease to victory, Spurs go top

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Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham’s second goal against Eintracht Frankfurt

Tottenham nervously held on for a 3-2 home win over 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt to go top of Champions League Group D thanks to Heung-Min Son’s double.

Frankfurt took the lead, before Son’s first-half double either side of a Harry Kane penalty ensured they remained top of the group.

In the other game in Tottenham’s group, Marseille beat Sporting Lisbon 2-0.

Club Bruges make history

In Group B, Club Bruges reached the Champions League knockout stage for the first time with a goalless draw at Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish side will have to battle with Porto and Bayer Leverkusen for second place, but Porto went one step ahead with a 3-0 win over the German side.

CL round-up: Napoli thrash Ajax | Barca, Atleti defeats

Giacomo Raspadori netted twice as Napoli came from behind to deliver a masterclass and score a runaway 6-1 win at 10-man Ajax in the Champions League.

Captain Giovanni di Lorenzo, Piotr Zielinski, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and substitute Giovanni Simeone added the other goals for the Italian league leaders, after Mohammed Kudus had given the hosts the lead inside the opening 10 minutes.

The damage was already irreparable when Ajax captain Dusan Tadic was sent off in the 73rd minute for a second yellow card.

Napoli have a 100 per cent record at the halfway point in Group A, leaving Ajax with three points from their opening three games and in danger of missing out on next years knockout stages after their biggest defeat in European football.

Inter Milan bounced back after two consecutive losses in Serie A with a crucial Champions League 1-0 win against Barcelona thanks to a Hakan Calhanoglu goal.

The Turkish midfielder slotted home a clinical strike from just outside the area, with the ball going into the corner to the goalkeeper’s right in added time before the break.

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Inter Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu scored the winning goal at the San Siro

Barcelona players clamoured for a penalty in added time, complaining about a possible handball inside the box by substitute Denzel Dumfries. But after a VAR check the referee ruled there had been no infringement by the Dutch defender.

“I’m really angry, I just can’t understand how that is not a penalty; it’s clear. It’s an injustice,” a frustrated Xavi Hernandez said.

Inter and Barca will face each other again next week at the Nou Camp when a third loss in four games would leave Barca in danger of being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage for the second consecutive season.

Bayern Munich set a new Champions League record of 31 group games without defeat after thrashing Viktoria Plzen 5-0 at the Allianz Arena.

The German champions, unbeaten in the group stages since September 2017, remain top of Group C, extended their 100 per cent start this season to three matches and have yet to concede a goal.

Leroy Sane struck twice for Julian Nagelsmann’s side, who led 3-0 at half-time, while Serge Gnabry, former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Eric Choupo-Moting were also on target.

Goals from Club Brugge forwards Kamal Sowah and Ferran Jutgla saw the Belgians beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run in Champions League Group B this season.

The hosts took the lead in the 36th minute when Jutgla’s low pass across the goal found Sowah, who tapped the ball into an empty net for his second European goal in three games.

Jutgla doubled the lead in the 62nd minute after winger Tajon Buchanan calmly waited for the right moment to set up the Spaniard inside the box.

Atletico had a chance to get back into the match with a penalty 15 minutes later but Antoine Griezmann lashed the ball against the bar and moments later the Frenchman thought he had scored but his effort was ruled out for offside.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Rangers

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick and Mohamed Salah’s penalty secured Liverpool a comfortable 2-0 win in their Champions League ‘Battle of Britain’ against Rangers.

Tottenham’s goalless draw in Germany against Eintracht Frankfurt – both sides spurned several chances – leaves them second in Group D, two points behind leaders Sporting Lisbon, who slipped up earlier in the evening.

Marseille turned the table on its head by sending Sporting crashing to their first defeat in a 4-1 win at the Orange Velodrome.

Marseille fell behind inside the first minute to Trincao’s effort, but hit back with two goals in three minutes from Alexis Sanchez and Amine Harit.

Sporting goalkeeper Antonio Adan was sent off for handling outside the area midway through the first half before Leonardo Balerdi gave Marseille a 3-1 interval lead. Chancel Mbemba added a late fourth for the French side.

Porto substitutes Zaidu and Galeno were both on target as they beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 to seal their first victory in this season’s Champions League group stage.

Nigerian defender Zaidu smashed home a perfect header in the 69th minute from a cross by forward Mehdi Taremi six minutes after coming on to replace Wendell.

Brazilian forward Galeno extended their lead in the 87th minute after his shot from inside the box found the net after taking a huge deflection off Leverkusen ‘keeper Lukas Hradecky.

Leverkusen striker Callum Hudson-Odoi put the ball in the net in the 15th minute from the edge of the six-yard box but his effort was chalked off after a VAR review found midfielder Robert Andrich had fouled Porto forward Pepe Aquino in the build-up.

Taremi tapped in a cross in the 41st minute but his effort was also ruled out by VAR for handball, while Leverkusen were awarded a penalty just before half-time, but Patrik Schick’s spot-kick was superbly saved by Porto ‘keeper Diogo Costa.

Real extend perfect start with Madrid derby win

A clinical Real Madrid extended their perfect start to the La Liga season when they beat city rivals Atletico 2-1 at the Metropolitano on Sunday.

Despite being second best for large periods of the first half, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were ruthless in front of goal as strikes from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde put them in a commanding position.

Mario Hermoso pulled a goal back for the hosts late on but they were unable to find an equaliser, with the defender sent off in injury time.

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Mario Hermoso pulled one back for Atletico…

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…before being sent off late on

Diego Simeone’s side started brightly and went close through defender Felipe and Yannick Carrasco but found themselves behind when Rodrygo emphatically finished the visitors’ first attempt on target on 18 minutes.

They doubled their lead with their next effort on goal when Valverde fired in from close range after Vinicius’s shot had rebounded off the post.

Atletico set up a grandstand finish through substitute Hermoso’s header seven minutes from time, before being sent off for a second bookable offence in injury time and Real held on to take the points.

Victory means Real return to the top of the LaLiga table on 18 points from six games, two ahead of Barcelona in second. Atleti are seventh, eight points behind their neighbours.

Juventus, Inter beaten | Mourinho sent off in Roma defeat

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Christian Gytkjaer celebrates after scoring Monza’s winner against Juventus

Monza earned a surprising but deserved 1-0 home win over Juventus – their first Serie A victory of the season – as the visitors struggled after being reduced to 10 men.

Angel Di Maria’s return from injury was cut short after being sent off five minutes before the break after placing his elbow in Armando Izzo’s chest.

Juventus had half-chances in the first half but newly-promoted Monza smelled blood in the second half and pressured the opposition defence to make mistakes, while Massimiliano Allegri’s side tried to look for possibilities of a counter-attack.

Substitute Christian Gytkjaer became the hero when he slid in the winner from Patrick Ciurria’s cross in the 74th minute.

Roma coach Jose Mourinho will miss the match against his former club Inter after being sent off in a 1-0 defeat to Atalanta.

Mourinho was shown a red card in the 57th minute after going onto the field to remonstrate with referee Daniele Chiffi, who had awarded a free-kick to Atalanta rather than what Mourinho thought should have been a penalty for his side.

Mourinho became even more infuriated and had to be held back by a member of his staff.

Teenage defender Giorgio Scalvini scored the only goal of the match at the Stadio Olimpico, firing into the bottom right corner in the 35th minute.

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Roma’s head coach Jose Mourinho argues with the referee and was sent off in their defeat to Atalanta

Udinese continued their strong start to the season as they recorded their fifth straight win, beating Inter Milan 3-1.

Nicolo Barella curled in a fantastic free-kick in the fifth minute to get Inter off to the perfect start but Udinese leveled when Roberto Pereyra’s free-kick went in off Milan Skriniar.

Udinese hit the post before Jaka Bijol headed in a corner with three minutes remaining and Tolgay Arslan made sure of the points in stoppage time with a diving header.

A brilliant header by Napoli striker Giovanni Simeone helped his side to seal a 2-1 win at AC Milan and return to the top of the Serie A table.

Simeone headed home in the 78th minute almost from the edge of the six-yard box following a superb Mario Rui cross.

Winger Matteo Politano had scored a penalty in the 55th minute following a foul by Sergino Dest on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Olivier Giroud fired in an equaliser in the 69th minute from Theo Hernandez’s cross.

Messi on target as PSG edge Lyon

Paris Saint-Germain opened a two-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 after Lionel Messi’s early goal earned the French champions a 1-0 win at Lyon.

Messi scored his fourth league goal of the season in the fifth minute to put Christophe Galtier’s side on 22 points from eight games.

Lyon, who have now lost their last three matches, are sixth on 13 points.

Union Berlin return to top of Bundesliga

Jordan Pefok and Sheraldo Becker scored again on Sunday to fire Union Berlin back to the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.

Becker set up Pefok to open the scoring in the 55th minute, then the Suriname forward raced clear to seal the win later on, giving Union a two-point lead over Borussia Dortmund after seven games.