Napoli 3-0 Frankfurt (5-0 agg): Osimhen double creates history in Naples
Victor Osimhen scored twice as Napoli reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time on Wednesday, helping Luciano Spalletti’s men to a 3-0 second-leg win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Osimhen netted either side of half-time in another talismanic display for the runaway Serie A leaders, who sealed a 5-0 aggregate triumph across a tie overshadowed by violent clashes between supporters.
Piotr Zielinski won and converted a penalty to make it 3-0 as Eintracht toiled without suspended forward Randal Kolo Muani at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
After swatting last season’s Europa League winners aside, Napoli will be seen as a team to avoid when they join fellow Italian giants Milan and Inter in Friday’s last-eight draw.
Napoli made a typically fast start as Matteo Politano tested Kevin Trapp with a low drive in the first minute, before the goalkeeper denied Khvicha Kvaratskhelia at the end of slaloming run.
Oliver Glasner’s well-drilled visitors kept Napoli at bay for much of the first half, though they were again indebted to Trapp for keeping out Kvaratskhelia’s prodded attempt 40 minutes in.
Eintracht were unable to make it to half-time, however, with Osimhen hanging in the air to head Politano’s cross into the top-right corner after a fine pass from Stanislav Lobotka.
Osimhen needed just eight minutes to grab his brace after the restart, stretching to divert Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s low cross home from inside the six-yard box.
Trapp denied Kvaratskhelia for a third time when the Georgian attempted a curling shot on the hour mark, but he was unable to prevent Zielinski from making it 3-0 from 12 yards after the midfielder was clumsily tripped by Djibril Sow.
What does it mean? Napoli make European history
Napoli appear destined to end a 33-year wait to win the Scudetto this season after building a remarkable 18-point lead at the Serie A summit, but their European exploits have been no less impressive.
The Partenopei have reached the Champions League’s last eight for the very first time, doing so in thrilling fashion.
No other team can match their tally of 25 Champions League goals this season, and just three Italian sides have ever netted more in a single campaign (Juventus’ 30 in 2002-03, Inter’s 26 in 2002-03 and Lazio’s 26 in 1999-00).
Osimhen among Europe’s best
Among players from the big five European leagues, only Marcus Rashford (15) has outscored Osimhen since the turn of the year, with the Nigeria striker reaching 13 goals for 2023 as Napoli produced another sparkling display.
Having also opened the scoring in Frankfurt, Osimhen became the first Napoli player to score in both legs of a European Cup or Champions League tie when he broke the deadlock on Wednesday.
No place like home for Napoli
Napoli have won all four of their home games in the Champions League this season, scoring at least three goals in each victory (also 4-1 v Liverpool, 4-2 v Ajax and 3-0 v Rangers).
They are just the second Italian team to win four in a row at home in the competition while scoring three goals on each occasion, after Roma achieved the feat between April and October 2018.
Napoli’s bid for a first Serie A title since the Diego Maradona era takes them to Torino on Sunday, while Eintracht go to fellow top-four contenders Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on the same day.