Sergio Ramos once again rose to the occasion as the centre-back’s double saw Real Madrid come from behind to win 3-1 at Napoli and secure progression to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 6-2 aggregate triumph.
The Spain international has come up with the goods on the big stage for Madrid time and time again, including in last season’s Champions League final, and he allayed Madrid’s fears with two goals in quick succession after the break to turn things around following Dries Mertens’ well-taken first-half opener.
The match lived up to its billing in the opening 45 minutes, as Napoli took the game to the reigning European champions and caused them no end of problems from the start, before eventually halving Madrid’s two-goal aggregate lead just before the half-hour mark – Mertens scoring his 17th goal in his last 16 games across all competitions.
Both sides were then denied by the frame of the goal, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League goal drought was extended to six matches, while Mertens went close to scoring his second.
But Napoli were made to rue their plethora of spurned first-half chances, as Ramos swiftly restored Madrid’s two-goal advantage early in the second half, before then scoring again to take his respective tally for the entire season to 10.
That quick brace left the hosts completely deflated and Alvaro Morata made the scoreline more flattering in stoppage time.
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