Champions League, positive result from the trip to the Iberian peninsula. Napoli raids Braga, Inter goes under and grabs the equalizer


By John

Braga – Napoli 1-2

Markers: 46′ pt Di Lorenzo, 39′ st Bruma, 43′ st Niakaté (aut.)

Sporting Braga (4-2-3-1): Matheus 7.5; Gomez 5.5, Fonte 5, Niakaté 4.5, Borja 6 (40′ st Marín sv); Carvalho 5.5 (22′ st Zalazar 6.5), Al-Musrati 6; Djalò 5.5 (32′ st Banza 6), R. Horta 6, Bruma 7; Abel Ruiz 5 (40′ st Pizzi sv). On the bench: Saatçi, A. Horta, Oliveira, Mendes, Lopes, Moutinho, Castro, Hornicek. Coach: Artur Jorge 6

Napoli (4-3-3): Meret 6; Di Lorenzo 7, Rrahmani sv (13′ pt Ostigard 5), Juan Jesus 5, Olivera 6; Anguissa 6, Lobotka 6.5, Zielinski 6.5 (45′ st Natan sv); Politano 6.5 (21′ st Raspadori 6), Osimhen 7 (45′ st Simeone sv), Kvaratskhelia 6 (21′ st Elmas 6). On the bench: Contini, Idasiak, Mario Rui, Zerbin, Lindstrøm, Zanoli, Gaetano. Coach: Garcia 6.5

Referee: Gozubuyuk (Netherlands) 5.5

Note: clear sky, pitch in good condition. Booked: Anguissa, Osimhen, Djalò, Fonte, Borja. Politano, Raspadori, Olivera, Juan Jesus. Corners 11-10. Recovery 4′, 5′.

Three-point debut for Napoli in Europe. The reigning Italian champions lead 2-1 thanks to a goal by captain Di Lorenzo at the end of the first half and a clumsy own goal at the end, which came immediately after the opponent’s momentary equalizer. Lusitani started strong and in the 2nd minute they came close to taking the lead with Horta, who turned in the area and shot, finding the decisive save in a slide from a defender who fouled the conclusion for a corner. Two minutes later, a defensive amnesia from Fonte effectively leaves Osimhen out of the way, but he wastes everything in front of Matheus by hitting him squarely. The goalkeeper repeats himself in the 11th minute, when in the space of a few seconds he makes two great saves on headers first from Osimhen and then from Di Lorenzo. Shortly afterwards, Garcia was already forced to make the first substitution due to the injury suffered by Rrahmani, who was replaced by Ostigard. In the 21st minute Osimhen tried again, but his shot from Politano’s cross from the right went just wide. The Nigerian striker was unlucky in the 25th minute when he hit the crossbar from the edge of the box with a great right-footed shot. (The guests found the deserved advantage at the start of injury time. Kvaratskhelia put in from the left, Osimhen headed back and Di Lorenzo sent Matheus in with a nice left-footed volley. It was 1-0 with which the two teams went in the changing rooms. The Campania team immediately became dangerous in the 4th minute of the second half, when Matheus had to use his fists to block a header from Anguissa. Garcia’s men ate a possible second in the 28th minute with Zielinski, who wasted an assist in the kiss from Di Lorenzo finishing wide with the left foot from an excellent position. The challenge seems to be resolved, but in the 39th minute a cold shower arrives for the Neapolitans when Zalazar crosses from the right for Bruma who heads in to make it 1-1 ahead of Juan Jesus The reaction of the Azzurri is almost immediate and in the 43rd minute they find the 2-1 which is worth the victory. Zielinski crosses strongly into the area from the left finding the deflection of Niakatè who unstoppably passes his own goalkeeper. In the final, Braga comes close to equalizing a few moments from the final whistle hitting a post with Pizzi, but Di Lorenzo and his teammates can breathe a sigh of relief. The result will no longer change. Thanks to this victory, Napoli rises to the top of their group together with Real Madrid. The two teams will face each other next day, Tuesday 3 October, at the Maradona.

Real Sociedad – Inter 1-1

Markers: 4’pt Mendez, 42’st Lautaro

Real Sociedad (4-3-3): Remiro 6; Traorè 6, Zubeldia 6.5, Le Normand 6.5, Tierney 6 (17’st Munoz 6); Mendez 7 (40’st Pacheco sv), Zubimendi 6.5, Merino 6; Barrenetxea 6.5 (17’st Cho 6), Kubo 6 (27’st Odriozola 6), Oyarzabal 5.5 (27’st Sadiq 5.5). On the bench: Ayesa, Marrero, Gonzalez, Zakharyan, Magunazelaia, Turrientes, Olasagasti. Coach: Alguacil 6.5.

Inter (3-5-2): Summer 6.5; Pavard 6, De Vrij 6 (31’st Acerbi 6), Bastoni 5 (10’st Dimarco 6.5); Dumfries 6, Barella 5.5, Asllani 5.5 (10’st Frattesi 6.5), Mkhitaryan 6 (25’st Sanchez 5.5), Carlos Augusto 6.5; Lautaro 6.5, Arnautovic 5 (10’st Thuram 6.5). On the bench: Di Gennaro, Audero, Bisseck, Darmian, Klaassen. Coach: Inzaghi 6.

Referee: Oliver (England) 5.5.

Note: clear evening, pitch in good condition. Booked: Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Pavard, Traorè, Zubeldia. Corners: 7-4. Recovery time: 1′, 6′.

Inter opens their Champions League with a draw in San Sebastian against Real Sociedad. At the Reale Arena the match ends 1-1: Mendez’s early goal is answered by Lautaro three minutes from the end. A golden point for the Nerazzurri after a match that was almost always in trouble and characterized by many technical errors. Calhanoglu is absent from Inter due to a muscle strain: room for Asllani from the first minute, as well as Carlos Augusto and Arnautovic, in place of Dimarco and Thuram respectively. Real Sociedad’s departure is impressive, thanks to the enthusiasm of the public, celebrating their return to the Champions League after ten years. The Spaniards hit the post with Barrenetxea in the 3rd minute, only to find the opening goal just a minute later. It’s Brais Mendez who explodes the joy of the Reale Arena in the 4th minute and complicates the Nerazzurri’s game plan: Bastoni stumbles and loses the ball in the midfield, allowing Mendez to score one-on-one with Sommer. The Basques came close to doubling their lead in the 41st minute with Le Normand’s header, just wide. Inter suffered throughout the first half, played poorly and did not create any particular shocks at the goal defended by Remiro. On the other hand, Real Sociedad presses very high and constantly worries the Nerazzurri rearguard, thanks to one-on-ones from Barrenetxea and Kubo