Thanks to the goals from Matteo Politano, Giacomo Raspadori, and Tanguy Ndombele, Napoli cruised to a 3-0 victory over Rangers in their second match of the Champions League 2022/23 season.
On the occasion of the Champions League, an energetic Ibrox welcomed Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli. Matching the atmosphere, the players from both sides embarked on the proceedings with noteworthy intensity. Piotr Zieliński’s striker earlier in the match saw Napoli come close to that coveted opening goal.
Rangers, looking fitter than the Italian side, amassed a few decent chances in front of the goal. But they continued to be wasteful in the entirety of the first half as Alex Meret came to the Partenopei’s rescue on several occasions.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was lively on the other end and was allowed to take a few shots. But he could not muster any positive results as the first half ended in a 0-0 scoreline. In what was the start of a wild few minutes of football, James Sands conceded a penalty and picked up the second yellow of the night.
The resultant penalty got initially saved by Allan McGregor, but the rebound was poked into the goal by Matteo Politano. Following a VAR review, it emerged that several players were in the box before Zieliński had initially dispatched the spot kick. As a result, it was retaken and then resaved by McGregor, with Zieliński being the culprit for missing another opportunity.
Perhaps the lady luck was in favour of the visitors as they got another penalty, with Borna Barišić penalised for a handball this time. A red-faced Zieliński stayed behind as Politano notched up his first goal in the Champions League.
Giacomo Raspadori, a second-half substitute, shared Politano’s distinction as he also scored his first in the competition. Tanguy Ndombele put the game to bed with the third goal of the night. Down to 10 men, Rangers lost the attacking flow as Napoli saw out the game quite aptly. Here are the player ratings from Spalletti’s triumph at Ibrox.
Rangers: McGregor (8); Tavernier (7), Sands (2), Goldson (6), Barisic (5); Lundstram (6.5), Jack (6), S Davis (6); Arfield (6.5), Morelos (6), Kent (7).
Substitutes: King (6), Colak (6), Matondo (6), Kamara (N/A), Tillman (N/A).
Napoli: Meret (8); Di Lorenzo (7), Rrahmani (7), Kim Min-jae (7), Mario Rui (6.5); Anguissa (7.5), Lobotka (6.5), Zielinski (4); Politano (7.5), Simeone (6), Kvaratskhelia (7.5).
Substitutes: Raspadori (7), Olivera (6.5), Zerbin (6), Ndombele (7), Elmas (N/A).
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder