Giacomo Raspadori scored the game-winning goal for Napoli in the second half of their Champions League Group C match against Union Berlin on Tuesday. The result was a 1-0 victory for Napoli, which extended their opponents’ losing streak to nine consecutive games across all competitions.
In a game that did not have many memorable moments, the Germans had the better chances in the first half. However, the game was won by a run down the left side of the field by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli, who then assisted Raspadori in scoring the game-winning goal in the 65th minute.
As a result of the result, Napoli remained in second place with six points, three points behind Real Madrid who won 2-1 away at Sporting Braga.
In their debut season in the competition, Braga currently have three points, while the struggling Union team has yet to earn a single point.
“It wasn’t our best game technically, but winning this kind of game is important,” the scorer, Raspadori, remarked after the game. They had a strong team structure and had put in a lot of work to get ready for the match.
“We had anticipated that it would be challenging, and we witnessed that difficulty on the pitch.” I believe that we could have performed more admirably, but a victory on the road in the Champions League is always a welcome accomplishment. “It’s a dream come true to be able to score while competing in the Champions League,” he exclaimed.
Despite the fact that Union were keen to halt their losing streak, Napoli held the most of possession early on. However, Union tried to catch the Italians off guard by using Brenden Aaronson and David Fofana in the first half.
The latter player, who also had an attempt saved, put the ball in the back of the net in the 24th minute, but it was deemed that he was offside.
In the absence of their injured striker Victor Osimhen, the away team had a difficult time breaking past the tough German defence until the 65th minute, when the Germans repeatedly failed to clear the ball.
Kvaratskhelia gained possession of the ball, turned up the accelerator to race into the area from the left side, and cut the ball back for Raspadori, who easily defeated Frederik Ronnow in goal.
Union, who have now lost their previous six league and three Champions League matches in a row, did not have it in them to make a comeback, despite the fact that Robin Knoche came close to scoring one with a header in the 81st minute.
“The first half was courageous and very good from us,” remarked Christopher Trimmel, the captain of the Union team. It was a positive move that pointed us in the right direction. Although we came up short in the end, our performance was commendable.
However, the disappointment of the team’s third consecutive loss in the competition was made clear when Fofana, who had been substituted, refused to shake the hand of the coach, Urs Fischer, who is coming under increasing amounts of scrutiny.