Sports, Football

Napoli see off Ajax and stroll into UCL knockouts

Published : 13 Oct 2022 07:29 PM | Updated : 13 Oct 2022 07:29 PM

Napoli reached the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare on Wednesday after a flamboyant 4-2 victory over Ajax maintained their 100 percent start in this year's competition.

Luciano Spalletti's side have four wins from four and a perfect 12 points at the top of Group A thanks to Hirving Lozano, Giacomo Raspadori, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen, whose goals took their European tally to an incredible 17.

Nine points separate the Serie A leaders from third-placed Ajax, who can still make it through with two wins from their final two matches against Liverpool and Rangers.

"It was brilliant, the team put in some great work and we are really happy to win and go through," said Lozano.

Alfred Schreuder's team gave a much better account of themselves than they did in the 6-1 thrashing Napoli inflicted on them in Amsterdam last week and kept the game alive until the final seconds through Davy Klaassen and Steven Bergwijn.

But they couldn't stop an irrepressible Napoli team who are yet to lose a match this season in Italy or on the continent and had a packed Stadio Maradona dreaming that this could be their year.

Napoli got off to a typically fast start and had the capacity crowd on their feet with just three minutes on the clock, Piotr Zielinski's dinked ball over the top guided home by Lozano's header which left Remko Pasveer completely stranded.