SSC Napoli sauntered to their 12th consecutive victory in all competition with a comfortable win against Rangers in Group A of the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Gli Azzurri have now won each of their UCL games this season, becoming the first Italian club in 18 years to win all five of their opening group stage games.
Having already qualified from Group A, Luciano Spalletti made six changes to the side that beat AS Roma in Serie A last weekend, but it was clear very early on that there would be no Neapolitan charity on offer for the Scottish side. With just over 10 minutes on the clock, Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s diagonal ball found Giovanni Simeone in the box, and he hammered it home from a tight angle.
The home side were rampant down the flanks, and four minutes later it was once again a full-back supplying the ammo for Napoli’s in-form striker. This time it was Mário Rui who whipped in a cross from the left, and Simeone stole in front of his marker to head home, joining his father Diego as the only Argentinian player to score four goals in their first four UCL matches. Shell-shocked and outclassed, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team survived a further scare when Tanguy Ndombele crashed a shot against the bar after good work from Di Lorenzo.
The HT break offered no reprieve for the Gers, as Napoli continued to pour forward, yet Simeone spurned a chance for his hat-trick. A smart pass by Matteo Politano released the man known as Cholito in on goal, and he lofted the ball over the onrushing Allan McGregor, but the ball bounced over the bar.
With zero points and just one goal in what has been a humbling UCL campaign, Alfredo Morelos missed a glaring opportunity to get Rangers back into the game, as the Colombian failed to turn into an open net after good work from Rıdvan Yılmaz. It would be a miss that was punished in the closing stages, as Leo Østigår netted a third goal for Napoli, pummeling a header home from a Giacomo Raspadori corner.