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Oshimen's brace inspires Napoli to historic QFs

UEFA Champions League: Osimhen's brace inspires Napoli to historic quarter-final berth

March 15, 2023 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
For the first time ever in Napoli's history, they will be playing in the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition.

Napoli secured a historic Champions League quarter-final spot after defeating Eintratch Frankfurt in Wednesday night's clash. In-form striker Victor Osimhen scored a brilliant double as the Partenopei cruised to a 5-0 aggregate win inside Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The build-up to match had been marred as Eintracht Frankfurt fans clashed with police. Despite being banned from attending the second leg of the last-16 tie, the supporters made their way to Naples anyway and found themselves in a fracas with the law enforcers. However, all was soon forgotten as the host proceeded to make another statement of intent with an exhilarating performance.

Going into the enconter with a two goal advantage from the first leg, Victor Osimhen was able to dispel any hope of a comeback for the visitors with a thumping header in first-half stoppage time. He subsequently became the first ever Napoli player to score in both matches of a European Cup or Champions League knockout stage.

The Nigerian striker then scored his 23rd goal of the season with a close-range finish from Giovanni di Lorenzo's cross in the 53rd minute, before Piotr Zielinski converted a penalty to make it 3-0 after the former had been brought down in the box inside the 63rd minute.

With the result, Napoli finally reached a Champions League quarter-final for the first time in their history. An unprecedented domestic and European double remains in sight for Luciano Spalleti's side who have established themselves as the team to beat in this season's campaign.

Meanwhile, the outcome of Wednesday's match-up meant that it is the first time since 2006 that three Italian teams have progressed to the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition. As there are no further restrictions on teams from the same country facing each other in the last eight stage, Napoli could be pitted against Inter Milan or AC Milan when the draw is made on Friday.

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