Champions: Inter-Barcelona 1-0, Ajax-Napoli 1-6 – Sport

Triumph in Amsterdam for Spalletti’s Napoli who humiliates Ajax in the third round of the Champions League group stage. It ends 6-1 for the Azzurri who lead the group with full points with 9 points. Important success for Inter who won by measure at San Siro against Barcelona thanks to a goal by Calhanoglu.

Inter 1-0 Barcelona THE CHRONICLE
Ajax-Napoli 1-6 THE CHRONICLE


Ajax-NAPOLI 1-6 Simeone’s goal in the 81st minute
Ajax-NAPOLI 1-5 goal of Kvaratskhelia in the 63rd minute
Ajax-NAPOLI 1-4 goal by Raspadori in the 47th minute
INTER-Barcelona 1-0 Calhanoglu goal at 45 ‘+ 2’
Ajax-NAPOLI 1-3 Zielinski goal in the 45th minute
Ajax-NAPOLI 1-2 Di Lorenzo goal in the 34th minute
Ajax-NAPOLI 1-1 goal by Raspadori in the 18 ‘
AJAX-Napoli 1-0 Kudus goal in the 9th minute

Bayern Munich beats Viktoria Plzen 5-0 (3-0) in a match of Group C – the same as Inter – of the Champions League played on the Allianz Arena in Munich. The goals: in the first half Sané on 7 ‘, Gnabry on 13’ and Mané on 21 ‘; in the second half Mané on 5 ‘and Choupo Moting on 14’.

‘Calha’ extends Barça, Inter gets up – With the nails, with the teeth, with the heart and even with a bit of luck. Inter needed a spark to get out of the crisis and the spark came: a goal from Calhanoglu knocked Barcelona out in 90 ‘of old-school football for the Nerazzurri, made up of defense and counter-attack. But a terribly effective kick, because the Catalans (who complain about a touch of the hand in the Dumfries area on which the Var does not intervene) create few dangers at Onana’s goal, thanks to the muzzle that Skriniar and his companions also put on Lewandowski. A victory in spirit, for a decidedly different Inter that respects the soft version seen in the latest releases and which relaunches the ambitions of passing through to the knockout stages of the Champions League. With a signal also for Simone Inzaghi, whose confidence had already been reiterated by the CEO Giuseppe Marotta in the pre-match: the Contian football outfit seems to suit his players better. A match in which the script becomes clear from the first minutes: Inter quit to try to restart, while Barcelona play their slow ball possession game, trying to open gaps in the Nerazzurri defense. And the Inter strategy at the start works, because immediately Inzaghi’s players find spaces on the counterattack, with Calhanoglu warming up the gloves of the German Ter Stegen, with a great right from distance. Inter may mess up, sometimes it is ruffled also by the high pressure of the Catalans, but it takes grit almost never seen in the league and, when it manages to develop good ideas, it always becomes dangerous. Even if there is also a bit of bad luck in the way, as when the Slovenian referee Vincic, at the Var, does not grant a clear penalty after a touch of the hand in the area of ​​Garcia, for an offside millimeter by Lautaro at the start of the action. The different spirit compared to the latest releases leads the Nerazzurri not to give up even in moments of greatest Catalan pressure, being rewarded in the first half final. Merit of Calhanoglu who, from the edge, slips a surgical right that caresses the pole and slips into the corner despite the great dive of an innocent Ter Stegen. So, while the teams leave the pitch for the break, ‘Sweet Dreams’ resounds at San Siro, sweet dreams that all the Nerazzurri people cradle to get up after the crisis of recent weeks. Dreams that, however, Barcelona is committed to ruin, starting with Dembelé who creates the best opportunity, hitting the post with a left. And, precisely from Dembelé, the greatest dangers arrive: a poisonous cross that Onana smanaccia badly, Pedri is the fastest and bags into an empty net, but the Var saves Inter for a touch of the hand of Ansu Fati and cancels. The Nerazzurri, however, are in apnea: they defend themselves ever closer to their own goal and soon it becomes a Catalan assault, given that Inzaghi’s team can no longer even get out of the half field. Barça thus collects corners and free-kicks in the final, creates some danger with Dumfries that touches the own goal and a header from Busquets. Not even the 8 minutes of recovery granted by Vincic help the Inter fans, with the whole San Siro trembling from a touch of the hand of Dumfries on which the Slovenian referee and the Var fly over. Chills like those that Onana runs on a Dembelé cross-shot that goes out a little. But it is the last danger and the 70 thousand of San Siro.

Avalanche Napoli on Ajax, is 6-1 in Amsterdam – The Naples avalanche hits Ajax. Luciano Spalletti’s team annihilates the Dutch at the Johan Cruijff Stadion, wins 6-1 and dominates far and wide, teaching their opponents a football lesson. It does not seem to witness a Champions League match, but rather a competition between two teams of different categories because the six goals scored by the Azzurri are also few compared to the superiority shown and the scoring chances they had. First in the group with full points, Napoli are already putting a mortgage on the passage to the round of 16. The blues start well, entering the field with determination and with the desire to lead the game. Ajax react vigorously, responding with an aggressive attitude, very often far beyond the rules and rarely sanctioned by the shy French referee Letexier. Ajax found the goal after just 8 ‘following a shot by Taylor, accidentally deflected with a knee by Kudus. But it’s a flash in the pan. The response from Spalletti’s team was not long in coming. Napoli dominated far and wide and in the 17 ‘a descent of Olivera, who serves Raspadori with a cross on the opposite side, leading to the equalizer, scored by the blue striker. We would expect the reaction of the Dutch but instead Naples is still in charge. Ajax were punished without major problems by Spalletti’s defense and the Azzurri restarted with quick actions and precise and insightful exchanges. The goal of the advantage, the natural result of this supremacy of the Azzurri, arrives at 33 ‘with Di Lorenzo who in the center of the area heads a cross from Kvaratskhelia from the right. Napoli’s supremacy continues clearly and Ajax’s response does not arrive. The most dangerous actions continue to be those of the Azzurri who find the third goal in the 44th minute on the counterattack. Anguissa throws Zielinski into a central corridor and the Pole appears in front of Pasveer and beats him with a left-footed shot. The second half began only a minute when Napoli found their fourth goal. And Anguissa again to steal the ball on the edge of the opponent’s penalty area. The Cameroonian serves Raspadori who with a right-footed shot beats the opposing goalkeeper once again. The match is now decided but Napoli does not give up an inch, they fight for every ball and always keep the Dutch under pressure. The fifth goal for the Azzurri arrives in the 17 ‘with Kvaratskhelia who exchanges in the penalty area with Raspadori and bags from a short distance. The match seems to have ended here, but Napoli are in great shape, they are too superior to their opponents on a technical-athletic and tactical level and do not intend to stop. At 35 ‘Simeone, who took over from Raspadori, receives the ball inside the penalty area from Ndombele and stabs Pasveer for the sixth time with a shot that goes under the crossbar. Ajax, in the meantime left with ten men due to the expulsion of Tadic for a double yellow card, staggered to the end. Ndombele hits the crossbar, a shot from Elmas touches the post and a shot from Lozano is countered by a defender with a desperate intervention. The final whistle of the referee is taken as a liberation from the Dutch because if it had been more time the punishment would probably have been even more severe.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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