Napoli traveled to Germany to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Tuesday and returned with a comfortable 2-0 victory, thanks to goals from Victor Osimhen and Giovanni Di Lorenzo. Napoli had plenty of reasons to be confident heading into the game, as Osimhen had been in impressive form over the last few weeks, scoring 10 goals in his last nine matches across all competitions.
Victor Osimhen made sure Napoli left Germany with a crucial lead as he tapped in at the near post in the 40th minute of play. The Nigerian international was Napoli’s leading man throughout the match and showed why he is a key figure for them this season. Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso deserves credit for setting up his team in such a way that allowed Osimhen to thrive with space ahead of him. He was ably supported by midfielders Matteo Politano and Fabian Ruiz who provided creative passes which enabled Napoli to pin Frankfurt back and create opportunities.
The 2023 edition of Victor Osimhen saw him make great use of his pace, strength and dribbling ability during high-pressure situations as Napoli carved out chances against their opponents. His presence up front caused problems for Eintracht’s defense all night, meaning they were constantly pushed on the back foot whenever Napoli attacked. This allowed Napoli to move the ball around quickly which created confusion among Frankfurt’s players who were unable to deal with it effectively.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo then put Napoli two goals up when he scored from close range after a brilliant cross from substitute Hirving Lozano put him through on goal in the second half. Lozano’s introduction gave Napoli more energy going forward and allowed them to press higher up the pitch which ultimately led to their second goal as Lozano’s cross proved too difficult for Frankfurt’s defenders to deal with.
Napoli’s performance was further enhanced by their defensive display as Kalidou Koulibaly led his side throughout, making several vital clearances and intercepting Frankfurt’s passes at key moments. Goalkeeper Alex Meret also played an important role between the sticks as he pulled off some great saves at crucial times during the match including one from André Silva late on which could have changed things entirely if it had gone in.
Victor Osimhen was Napoli’s star performer throughout Tuesday’s match, wearing a beautiful Napoli jersey with pride each time he stepped onto the pitch. His efforts helped Napoli take home an invaluable lead ahead of their return leg at Stadio San Paolo next month where they will be hoping to extend their lead further and book their spot in quarterfinals of Europe’s premier club competition this season. Napoli will now return to Italy with a two-goal lead and plenty of reasons to be optimistic ahead of the second leg in March.