Teenager Nicolas Paz came off the bench to score his first senior goal as Real Madrid beat Napoli 4-2 to extend their perfect Champions League Group C record to five straight wins.

Giovanni Simeone’s scrambled effort had given the Italians a shock early lead at the Bernabeu, but Rodrygo swiftly fired in an equaliser.

Bellingham headed Real in front midway through the first half, scoring his 15th goal of a brilliant debut campaign with Los Blancos.

Frank Anguissa hauled Napoli back on level terms early in the second half, but with six minutes left, 19-year-old Paz drilled in from 25 yards and fellow substitute Joselu added a late fourth.

Napoli had stunned the home crowd as they took an early lead in the ninth minute through a scrambled effort from Simeone.

Although Real keeper Andriy Lunin clawed the ball away at point-blank range, the referee signalled it had crossed the line.

Real, however, were back on level terms just two minutes later.

Brahim Diaz drove forwards before laying off a square pass to Rodrygo. The Brazil winger, who scored twice in the 3-0 LaLiga win at Cadiz on Sunday, cut back into the penalty area before curling a magnificent strike into the top corner.

Real continued to press and went ahead in the 22nd minute.

David Alaba floated a lofted ball from the left through the Napoli penalty area, picking out Bellingham, who planted a header past Alex Meret.

As half-time approached, Bellingham, who had just returned from a shoulder problem which saw him miss England’s final two Euro 2024 qualifiers, needed treatment after appearing to twist his ankle. The midfielder, though, was able to continue.

Napoli brought on striker Victor Osimhen to replace Simeone at the start of the second half and were soon back on level terms.

Di Lorenzo played the ball to Anguissa on the right side of the area. His wayward shot cannoned off Daniel Ceballos straight back to him – and the Cameroon midfielder lashed an angled drive past Lunin from close range.

After being caught cold following the restart, it took Real some time to settle again.

Just after the hour, Joselu sent an effort over the bar at the far post before Diaz was forced off with what looked like a fresh calf problem, adding to Real’s long injury list, and was replaced by Argentina Under-20 midfielder Paz.

Antonio Rudiger’s header was well saved by Meret before Joselu nodded wide from a rebound off the keeper after Bellingham’s drive into the penalty area.

Real Madrid eventually made the breakthrough with six minutes left.

Paz picked the ball up 25 yards out and turned to send a left-foot drive towards the bottom corner, which squirmed past Meret and into the net for the teenager’s first senior club goal.

Rodrygo sprinted clear, only to pull up with what looked like a calf problem and was replaced by Lucas Vazquez to add more selection worries for Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Joselu finally got on the scoresheet in stoppage-time when he fired home a low cross from Bellingham at the far post, leaving Napoli needing a draw at home against Braga in their final game to secure qualification.

Carlo Ancelotti brushed off concerns Real Madrid’s growing injury crisis will prevent them from making it a perfect five Champions League wins from five when they host his former club Napoli on Wednesday night.

The Italian looks set to be without at least eight players when Los Blancos take on the Serie A champions in their penultimate Group C clash after Luka Modric sustained a thigh issue in the second half of Sunday’s 3-0 La Liga victory at Cadiz.

But Ancelotti, whose side secured qualification for the knockout phase three weeks ago with a 3-0 win over Braga, remains optimistic those fit for the midweek encounter at the Bernabeu will rise to the occasion.

He said at his pre-match press conference: “I really would not want to speak about all these problems that we have and players who are unavailable, because it’s a lack of respect for all those players who will be playing, who are also great professionals and can contribute great things and achieve great results.

“Obviously we didn’t expect something like that to happen, but considering that we have achieved great results. Despite all of these disadvantages, I can tell you that this squad is amazing. We have great strength and depth.”

Goalkeeper Kepa (muscle) stuck to an individual training plan on Tuesday while Arda Guler, Militao, Thibaut Courtois, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Junior continue to progress following their respective injuries.

And there may be more bad news for the hosts, with midfielder Brahim still recovering from the intestinal issue that kept him out of Sunday’s squad.

Ancelotti feels Napoli will continue to feed off the freshness of new head coach Walter Mazzarri, who took over from Rudi Garcia earlier this month and oversaw a 2-1 triumph at Atalanta on Saturday.

“I think the fact that they changed the manager will serve as an additional source of motivation for the players,” the Real Madrid boss said. “They already showed that against Atalanta who they beat this weekend.”

Ancelotti, who has recently been linked to Manchester United and the Brazil men’s national team, refused to entertain questions about whether he feels his employer will soon offer him the opportunity to extend his tenure past next summer, when his contract is due to expire.

He said: “I stopped talking about my future quite a while ago and I’m not going to do it this time either.”

Elif Elmas’ goal got Walter Mazzarri’s return to Napoli off to a winning start after his side beat Atalanta 2-1 in Serie A

Napoli took the lead through Khvicha Kvaratskhelia just before half-time and a frenetic period followed as both sides had a flurry of chances before the break.

Ademola Lookman levelled for Atalanta in a dominant second half for the hosts, but a mistake at the back allowed Elmas to score a winner in the 79th minute.

Three points moved Napoli third in Serie A ahead of AC Milan’s match later on Saturday, while Atalanta dropped to sixth.

Mario Pasalic had the first real chance 20 minutes with a great header from a free-kick, but Pierluigi Gollini made a strong low dive to his left to save.

There was worry for Atalanta just before the half-hour mark as Davide Zappacosta limped off the pitch and was eventually substituted for Hans Hateboer.

Napoli found the net in the 33rd minute when Giacomo Raspadori’s curling cross picked out Amir Rrahmani, who looped a header into the top corner but the goal was disallowed for offside.

The visitors were then also forced into an early change as Mathias Olivera went down in pain after slipping on the pitch and was subsequently carried off on a stretcher in the 38th minute.

Napoli took the lead in the 44th minute after a great cross from Giovanni Di Lorenzo found Kvaratskhelia bursting forward, leaving Marco Carnesecchi no chance as the Georgian’s powerful header flew past him.

The chances suddenly came thick and fast as Atalanta nearly pulled one back moments later when Hateboer found Teun Koopmeiners running at the back post, but Gollini made a fine save to claw away the danger.

The visitors nearly doubled their advantage before the break when Piotr Zielinski forced Carnesecchi into a brilliant fingertip save before Di Lorenzo’s follow-up was cleared and the ball then fell to Matteo Politano, but his first-time strike was denied by a sliding block from Pasalic.

A change in momentum saw Atalanta level in the 53rd minute after Hateboer crossed into the box and Lookman flicked a header into the bottom left corner.

They continued to threaten and found the net in the 67th with a brilliant team move finished by Pasalic, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Koopmeiners then had an effort blocked by the visiting defence before Charles de Ketelaere’s strike curled around the post.

However, a poor clearance from Carnesecchi allowed Napoli to retake the lead as the ball fell to Victor Osimhen, who did well to tap it through to Elmas and the midfielder rolled the ball into the bottom corner.

Atalanta had a tame penalty shout waved away in the final stages when Luis Muriel was challenged by Di Lorenzo and Napoli were able to hold on in stoppage time.

What the papers say

Casemiro could be on the verge of leaving Old Trafford. The Sun, via talkSPORT, says Manchester United are willing to hear offers for the 31-year-old midfielder, with the Saudi Pro League said to be targeting a big money move for the Brazilian. Incoming minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe will be open to letting Casemiro leave in a bid to freshen up the squad.

Staying with United, the Daily Mail reports Juventus plan to offer Jadon Sancho an escape route from Old Trafford. According to the paper, the Italian giant recently reached out to United over a potential loan move for the 23-year-old winger, who has not appeared for the Red Devils since August. However, it is unlikely Juventus would be able to afford a transfer fee for a player United paid £73million for in 2021.

And The Standard says Chelsea are confident Victor Osimhen is open to a move to Stamford Bridge, but any move for the Napoli striker is unlikely to come before next summer.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Ruben Neves: The Al-Hilal midfielder may become available for a move to Arsenal in January, according to the website 90min.

Emil Forsberg: Journalist Fabrizio Romano says the 32-year-old has verbally agreed to join New York Red Bulls from RB Leipzig.

Walter Mazzarri has been named as the new manager of Napoli.

The experienced 62-year-old replaces Rudi Garcia, who lasted only five months in the role.

The Serie A champions have struggled in their title defence, winning only six of their 12 matches, and sit 10 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

Napoli revealed the news in a brief post on social media, saying: “Walter Mazzarri is the new coach of Napoli. Welcome back Mister.”

Mazzarri has huge experience in Serie A, including coaching Napoli from 2009 to 2013.

It was a successful tenure, with Napoli qualifying for the Champions League for the first time, winning the Coppa Italia and finishing second in Serie A in his final season.

His most recent job came at Cagliari but he lasted less than a year, leaving in May 2022 with the club on the brink of relegation.

Empoli increased the pressure on under-fire Napoli boss Rudi Garcia with a 1-0 win in Serie A.

Viktor Kovalenko’s injury-time winner gave the visitors the smash-and-grab points in Naples and left Garcia in no doubt about how the home fans feel about him after he received jeers.

Last year’s champions are in fourth after this sorry defeat.

It could have been so different had the hosts taken two early chances, but they came up against inspired Empoli goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.

The Albania international tipped Matteo Politano’s effort wide and then kept out Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s header from the resulting corner.

Napoli thought they had taken the lead in the 27th minute after Giovanni Simeone poked home but he was ruled offside.

Empoli showed they meant business and fired two warning shots before the break when Matteo Cancellieri fizzed a shot just wide and then Andrea Ranocchia volleyed inches over.

Napoli took a while to get going after the break and then found Berisha was in no mood to concede.

Jesper Lindstrom, who had just come on, fired a wicked effort from 20 yards that was heading for the top corner, but the goalkeeper made a superb flying save.

He then twice denied Khvicha Kvaratskhelia as Napoli kept knocking on the door.

First he kept out an arrowed effort from the Georgian and then used his leg to save another low shot.

It looked like Napoli would be mulling over two points dropped as the game headed into injury time, but things got a lot worse as Empoli stole the win.

In the first minute of injury time Kovalenko found space on the edge of the area and found the far post with a delicious curling effort which beat goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and went in off the post.

There was no time for Napoli to respond and Garcia was left staring down the barrel.

Empoli head coach Aurelio Andreazzoli has urged his side to look for “continuity” ahead of a tough test against Napoli on Sunday.

Napoli are currently fourth in Serie A following a mixed start to the season, but they closed the gap on the top with a 2-0 win against Salernitana last weekend.

The reigning champions could leapfrog AC Milan into third in the table with a win against Empoli, but Andreazzoli wants his side to “move forward” for their upcoming fixtures.

“Napoli are extremely strong, but for us this doesn’t change the picture of what we have to do,” he told reporters.

“Frosinone also proved to be a tough opponent, which is why we need to focus on ourselves. There is time to grow but we have to move forward, for us it is a necessity.

“What Naples do I expect? I can’t know, (Rudi) Garcia is another friend of mine who I worked with, an excellent and scrupulous person. There was no coach who could replace Spalletti and do better than what Luciano did.”

Empoli are second from bottom in the table having only won two of their 11 league games so far this season and although they face a tough visit to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Andreazzoli hopes they can seek “continuity” in their performances.

He added: “We have to look for continuity, in the last match we played the game we wanted but our opponents were better.

“But we played a good game, because if we had gone ahead by two goals in the first half there would have been nothing to say.

“We had a blackout for part of the game which is inconceivable for what our team has in mind. We must always be proactive, even risking something.

“Tomorrow’s race is excellent in this sense, we can’t wait to compete with those who are better to understand who we are.”

Napoli still have work to do to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages after Union Berlin ended 12 consecutive defeats by securing a 1-1 draw at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Chelsea loanee David Datro Fofana cancelled out Matteo Politano’s earlier strike as Union, bottom of Group C, picked up their first Champions League point.

Serie A champions Napoli, who knew a win would leave them needing one point from their final two games to guarantee a last-16 spot, had two chances to go in front after 15 minutes.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia did well to beat his marker before playing in Piotr Zielinski who was denied from close range by Union keeper Frederik Ronnow.

Ronnow kept his side in it again when he saved Giacomo Raspadori’s chance moments later.

Napoli, still without injured star striker Victor Osimhen, also came agonisingly close after 23 minutes.

The creative Zielinski produced a wonderful whipped cross with his left foot which found the head of Natan whose header cannoned off the post.

Napoli also had a goal ruled out when VAR deemed Giovanni Di Lorenzo to have put two hands on Jerome Roussillon’s back before his header found Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa at the back post.

However, Napoli did go ahead in the 39th minute.

Full-back Mario Rui’s powered cross took a heavy deflection off team-mate Politano’s chest.

The goal, Politano’s second Champions League strike, was his sixth in all competitions this season.

The visitors, third bottom in the Bundesliga, came out fast and they snatched an unexpected equaliser in the 52nd minute.

Sheraldo Becker glided past his marker before goalkeeper Alex Meret parried into the path of Fofana who drew the visitors level.

Napoli were made to pay for their lethargic start to the second half and Union threw men forward in numbers to grab a second.

Kvaratskhelia had two chances to score a winner, but he could not beat Ronnow.

Napoli travel to Real Madrid next with Union heading to Braga.

Rudi Garcia has highlighted the importance of Giacomo Raspadori as Napoli seek to take another step towards the Champions League knockout stages in the continued absence of Victor Osimhen.

Napoli host Union Berlin at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Wednesday knowing victory will take them to the brink of the last 16.

Osimhen, who scored 26 Serie A goals last season to fire Napoli to their first domestic title since 1990, is again absent with an injury picked up on international duty last month.

Boss Garcia told reporters ahead of the Union game that Osmihen will return from his native Nigeria on Wednesday and be available for Napoli’s post-international break visit to Atalanta on November 25.

He also threw his support behind in-form Italy forward Raspadori who has scored in his last three appearances, including the winner when Napoli beat Union 1-0 in Germany two weeks ago.

Garcia said: “Since I arrived we have played 14 matches and he (Raspadori) has always been the protagonist, both when he came on during the match and from the start.

“I know the qualities he has, he scores goals and assists. He is a player who comes to tie up the game for the team, he defends, he can play in different positions.

“It is obvious that as a number nine or as an attacking midfielder his performance can be better, but I repeat that he can play both as a midfielder and as a winger.”

Napoli stand on six points from three games after away wins in Braga and Berlin and a home defeat to group leaders Real Madrid.

Beating Union on Wednesday would leave them needing only one point from their final two games to guarantee passage to the knockout stages.

Garcia said: “We will get closer if we win and then it depends on the other result (in the group). But it will not be anything done arithmetically.

“No match is easy, because we are talking about the Champions League and an opponent who, even if he is not having a good moment, has still qualified for the Champions League and comes from one of the top five championships in Europe.

“We had difficulty winning there but Real Madrid also only won at home against them with a goal in the 95th minute.

“My players will give their best and by putting their individuality at the service of the collective I am sure that we will win.”

Union are in dire straits after suffering a 12th consecutive defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Having finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, Union find themselves 16th and a point off the bottom of their domestic league while failing to beat Napoli will see them knocked out of the Champions League.

Captain Christopher Trimmel said: “At the moment we are simply not good enough. I feel every day that the coach and the team are giving their all – but at the moment it’s just not enough.

“It’s hard to explain, but we have to continue to work hard every day, develop, get better and give everything.”

Napoli climbed into Serie A’s top four after a deserved 2-0 win at Salernitana.

The reigning champions have endured a stuttering start to their title defence but closed the gap on the leaders on Saturday.

Giacomo Raspadori’s first-half goal and Elif Elmas’ late strike extended Napoli’s unbeaten run to four games in all competitions.

It is a mini resurgence for Rudi Garcia’s side after successive defeats to Real Madrid in the Champions League and Fiorentina in Serie A last month.

Defeat saw the hosts slip to a 12th game without a win to set an unwanted record of their longest winless run in Serie A. They remain rock bottom of the table with four points from their opening 12 games.

Napoli remain without the injured Victor Osimhen, in Nigeria having been granted time off by the club, but Italy striker Raspadori scored in his third straight game to ease the pressure on the champions.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had already gone close, firing wide from the edge of the box, before Raspadori put Napoli in front after 13 minutes when he collected Stanislav Lobotka’s pass and rifled in from 10 yards.

It continued his good form after goals against Union Berlin in the Champions League and in last week’s 2-2 draw against AC Milan.

Matteo Politano almost added a second two minutes later but Guillermo Ochoa turned his drive over after the winger had cut inside.

Raspadori went close to doubling the visitors’ lead when he forced Ochoa into a smart stop before Politano hit the outside of a post from 20 yards.

Salernitana had not beaten Napoli since they were both in Serie B in 2002 and Ochoa kept the visitors at bay.

The goalkeeper turned Piotr Zielinski’s volley from the edge of the box wide just after the hour.

Yet he did need Lorenzo Pirola to stop Politano making it 2-0 with a crucial close-range block.

Raspadori was withdrawn with 22 minutes left as Garcia sensed victory was close and a flurry of substitutions upset the game’s rhythm until eight minutes from time.

Salernitana’s hopes of a comeback and a valuable point in their battle against the drop were ended by Elmas.

The substitute wrapped up the points for the visitors when he took the ball from Mathias Olivera and found the bottom corner from 15 yards, despite Ochoa getting a hand to the strike.

Victor Osimhen will miss Napoli’s Serie A derby against Salernitana with the striker due back with the squad next week to continue his recovery from injury.

The 24-year-old, a reported target of Manchester United and Chelsea, has been out since mid-October with a hamstring problem.

Osimhen was granted permission by the club to travel home to Nigeria but he will return over the next few days to build up his fitness.

“He has made an agreement with the club,” head coach Rudi Garcia told a press conference.

“I’ve heard from him by message, and the doctors assure me that he is following the program. Everything is fine and he will be with us next week.”

Napoli will travel to Salernitana without Osimhen or young striker Lorenzo Russo.

“It’s not that I don’t care, but whether it’s Osimhen or Russo, injured together, cannot play and therefore I focus on who can play,” added Garcia.

“It won’t be an easy match, it’s a derby first of all, they need points, but we only have one positive result to achieve, the victory there, and we have to field the best version of Napoli, we know what to do.”

Napoli currently lie fifth in the table and are already seven points behind leaders Inter Milan.

But they did hit back from two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 with AC Milan on Sunday thanks to second-half goals from Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori.

“We’re a quarter of the way through the championship, three quarters remain to get back to whoever is in front,” said Garcia.

“We conceded two goals from Milan’s first two actions, we didn’t do badly, we should have done better on the two goals, but we also had the chance to make it 1-1, but that’s over now and let’s focus on tomorrow.

“Obviously when a team comes back from 0-2 to almost 3-2 at the last minute the second half was better in terms of results. It’s always better to end on a positive note.”

Salernitana lie bottom of the table, without a win so far and with four points from their opening 10 matches.

Napoli came alive in the second half of their 2-2 draw with AC Milan after Olivier Giroud twice headed home for the visitors before the break at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Milan looked to be in complete control after the Frenchman bagged his brace in the opening period, but the momentum swung completely in the opposite direction after the restart when Matteo Politano halved the deficit in the 50th minute.

Giacomo Raspadori’s stunning free-kick from 25 yards ensured it was all square after 63 minutes of a thoroughly entertaining contest in the Campania capital.

Napoli were forced to play the final few minutes with 10 men after Natan was sent off, but neither side could find a winner despite both teams having late chances.

The evening opened with an excellent piece of defending by Amir Rrahmani to block a close-range Giroud effort after the ball had deflected favourably in the Frenchman’s path.

There was bad news for the Rossoneri when centre-back Pierre Kalulu went down and was forced off with what appeared to be a thigh issue, with boss Stefano Pioli was short of options with Malick Thiaw serving a suspension and Simon Kjaer suffering a muscle problem.

On came 20-year-old Marco Pellegrino, making his Serie A debut and himself forced off late on, but it was a man 17 years the debutant’s senior who would provide the spark Pioli’s side needed.

Giroud’s opener came thanks to a superb delivery from Christian Pulisic to set up the 37-year-old for a glancing header that caught the fingertips of Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret before going in.

AC Milan soon extended their advantage, this time Davide Calabria providing the cross for Giroud to nod into the bottom left corner after winning an aerial battle with Rrahmani.

The visitors were cruising and had multiple chances to make it 3-0 before the break, while Napoli had not managed a shot on target.

Napoli boss Rudi Garcia made a triple change at half-time and the switch quickly seemed to pay dividends for the hosts when Politano thundered a left-footed strike under the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Milan, who had dominated the first half, were suddenly on the back foot, somehow surviving a relentless spell from Napoli that would have left them ruing their earlier missed chances when Raspadori curled home the equaliser from 25 yards.

Natan was sent off after his clumsy challenge on Giovanni Simeone resulted in a second booking, but the visitors could not capitalise on the man advantage through four minutes of added time, coming closest through captain Calabria’s header into the side-netting.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia nearly snatched victory for the home side, but Milan keeper Mike Maignan reacted quickly to keep out the Georgian’s sharp effort and ensure the points were shared.

Rudi Garcia is determined to hit AC Milan when they are down and relaunch Napoli’s Serie A title defence.

A rocky start to the season saw the Partenopei fall well short of expectations and critics of new head coach Garcia’s approach did not take long to make their voices heard.

But three league wins from four have thrust Napoli right back into contention and a home win against second-placed Milan, whose bubble has been burst by consecutive defeats to Juventus and Paris St Germain, could lift them to third.

“We have this home match against one of our direct rivals and it’s one we really want to win,” Garcia told reporters.

“There’s a good atmosphere in the camp. We’ve had a decent run of results but we know that if we really want to move up the table we need to keep winning back-to-back games.

“We want victory at home especially because we have the help of our fans after two wins on the road.”

Milan were one of the few sides to get the better of Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli last season, memorably winning 4-0 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona as the hosts were trying to rubber-stamp their Scudetto.

“It will be a different game to last season,” Garcia said. “People keep saying this Napoli team is different to the one from last season so this game against Milan will be different too.”

Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli, meanwhile, is demanding an instant response to last weekend’s San Siro reverse against Juve and a 3-0 humiliation at PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday.

He said at a press conference: “The team is hungry to turn things around.

“For the first time this season, we’ve lost two in a row in two big games and tomorrow we have another one.

“We’ll need to show that we have the quality to be a consistent side. We have to keep at it for 95 minutes against teams like this.

“We must live in the present; we’ve made mistakes and got results that we didn’t want. We have the chance in Naples to put in a better performance and show that we’re better.

“Garcia is a great coach. He had issues at the start – which is normal – but now they’re playing well and creating a lot.

“We need to be aware of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia because he can hurt you one-on-one. We’ll try to be alert.”

Rudi Garcia hailed Napoli for taking their lone clear chance in a largely uninspiring Champions League win over Union Berlin.

Giacomo Raspadori poached the only goal of the game after excellent work by player of the match Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, with the Bundesliga side having had the better of the game for long periods in front of a raucous crowd at the Olympiastadion.

Napoli coach Garcia told the club’s website: “We won with anger, patience, the desire to prevail and also intelligence.

“Right before we started we knew that we would be facing a complicated match. But we were calm, we never really suffered any danger, but it’s also true that in the first half we created little, also because on this heavy pitch it was difficult.

“Then in the second half with patience and intelligence we found the way to the goal. Kvara’s action and Raspa’s turn were beautiful from a technical point of view. A beautiful goal that I liked both for the assist and for the conclusion.

“We are a team that knows how to play the ball but also knows how to run and fight. These are the main characteristics with which we must continue our journey.”

Napoli lie second in Group C and Kvaratskhelia told uefa.com: “The group looks good but we must still focus on the other games and try to win those.

“Thanks for choosing me as player of the match today, but other players were very important too – and next time it could be someone else who wins it.”

The goal came when Mario Rui won the ball well and fed the Georgian on the left. His first cross was cleared back to him but he took on Christopher Trimmel and teed up Raspadori six yards out to finish decisively.

Union had a goal disallowed in the first half, with the impressive David Datro Fofana flagged offside after setting up Janik Haberer, and largely kept their Serie A opponents at arm’s length but remain bottom of the group after a third straight loss.

Coach Urs Fischer told uefa.com: “I’m disappointed. We put in so much to restrict them to just one shot on goal, and we still lost 1-0.

“Despite that, we did a lot well. We weren’t missing too much today.

“The group table doesn’t look good, of course. It’s almost impossible to qualify but that’s the situation we find ourselves in.

“We hoped to get a result but it didn’t come off. Still, I’m really proud of our performance today.”

Giacomo Raspadori scored the only goal against the run of play as Napoli ground out a 1-0 Champions League win over Union Berlin.

Raspadori’s second-half strike gave his side a three-point cushion in second place in Group C ahead of Braga, who lost 2-1 to leaders Real Madrid.

Union gave a good account of themselves at a raucous Olympiastadion but remain pointless at the bottom of the group.

Diogo Leite headed over from an early Union corner and while the early action on the pitch was otherwise flat, the bouncing home fans were creating quite an atmosphere.

Janik Haberer was denied an opener for the hosts after David Datro Fofana, on loan from Chelsea, tricked his way through brilliantly and laid on a close-range tap-in but was then pulled back by a delayed offside flag.

Brenden Aaronson fired woefully over from Sheraldo Becker’s cutback while Napoli’s wing wizard Kvicha Kvaratskhelia was crowded out after some impressive trickery.

Fofana had a shot saved at the near post and then set up Rani Khedira to swing an effort wide.

Napoli attackers Raspadori and Matteo Politano were consistently too ponderous in cutting inside to shoot, allowing the Union defence to stand firm. Fofana headed wide at the other end in the one minute added to the first half.

The start of the second half was, if anything, even less inspiring but Napoli struck in the 65th minute with a goal created by key man Kvaratskhelia.

Mario Rui won the ball well and fed the Georgian on the left. His first cross was cleared back to him but he took on Christopher Trimmel and teed up Raspadori six yards out to finish decisively.

The Italy forward was soon replaced by Giovanni Simeone among a raft of substitutions by both teams – with Fofana looking aggrieved to be withdrawn – before Eljif Elmas, a half-time introduction, curled a shot high and wide with Napoli team-mates in better positions.

Robin Knoche headed Trimmel’s excellent cross just wide and though Union pushed desperately for a late equaliser, there was to be no way through.

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