The UEFA Champions League group-stage has brought some surprising results so far through three rounds of matches. On Wednesday, another surprise result occurred as Italian-side Napoli were defeated 3-2 at their home stadium, the San Paolo by Turkish-outfit Besiktas.
Maurizio Sarri‘s side were looking for a perfect 3-0-0 start to the group stage, which could have seen Napoli advance to the knockout stage after three matches, pending other results.
After suffering back-to-back Serie A losses against Atalanta and Roma, Napoli needed to get back to winning form. Besiktas started the group-stage with two points, after draws at Benfica, and at home vs Dinamo Kiev.
Former Barcelona midfielder Adriano gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 12 minutes in, after smashing home a left-footed strike to the bottom left corner. Portuguese international Ricardo Quaresma was credited with the assist.
Dries Mertens leveled for Napoli in the 30th minute after slotting home Jose Callejon‘s cross from close range. Mertens was featuring as a false #9 after in-form striker Arkadiusz Milik went down with an ACL injury on international duty with Poland earlier this month.
Seven minutes before halftime, Besiktas regained the lead after Vincent Aboubakar netted his first goal of the tournament.
Napoli quickly tried to equalize in the second half after Mertens drew a penalty kick opportunity. However, Lorenzo Insigne‘s PK chance was saved by Besiktas keeper Fabricio in the bottom left corner.
Napoli again were given the chance to equalize from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Mertens drew a foul from Caner Erkin. This time, substitute forward Manolo Gabbiadini beat Fabricio to the bottom left corner to make it 2-2.
Napoli’s chances for a point at home ended in heartbreak as Aboubakar headed home his second goal of the day for a 3-2 win in the 86th minute. Quaresma was credited with his second assist of the match after crossing the ball following a set-piece situation.
Napoli dominated in possession 63%-37% while forcing six saves out of Fabricio. Napoli keeper Pepe Reina didn’t make a single save in the home defeat.
The win for Besiktas is huge which puts them a point behind Napoli in the group table. The Turkish side will host the Italians on Matchday #4 on November 1st looking to leapfrog into top spot.
After suffering their first loss of the tournament, Napoli will now turn their attentions to Sunday in which they travel to Crotone in Serie A play.
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