Real Madrid – Napoli: Brighter Beginnings In A Story of Shortcomings? (4-2)
This contest followed a similar course to the last meeting of these clubs. Bellingham's brilliance marked moments that asserted the edge of Real Madrid on their opponents. But in a new era of leadership, Napoli can look back at the ninety minutes and manage to take their own positives.
Tactical analysis and match report by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.
European royalty have returned to rule the roost closer to home. A draw for Girona let Real Madrid stay at the top of LaLiga for the first time in a month. The war they are waging for the championship seems set to last long into the new year, but their Champions League campaign has been smooth sailing so far. A haul of 12 points from their first four fixtures left them as outstanding favorites to finish first in the group; another victory over their nearest challengers would confirm that right.
Napoli knew it would be a tall order to topple Madrid at the start of the season. Changes at the club conspired to create a group less competitive than one might have imagined. Rudi Garcia could not sustain the same excellence Luciano Spalletti brought to the side. He lost his job in the . . .