(Champions League) Real Madrid bounce back at Bernabéu 

Sports | 16 Feb 2017 12:11 pm

Defending champion Real Madrid recovered after conceding a stunning early goal to beat Napoli 3-1 yesterday and stay on track for a seventh straight appearance in the quarterfinals of the Champions League at the Bernabéu. 

Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Casemiro, (pictured), all scored for Madrid after Lorenzo Insigne's extraordinary goal for Napoli less than 10 minutes into the Round of 16 first-leg match at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. 

The Italian forward struck a shot from way outside the area, catching Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas out of position. 

Playing in the last 16 for only the second time, Napoli were one game short of matching their unbeaten record of 19 matches in all competitions. They had not lost since a 2-1 defeat by Juventus in Serie A last October, a streak that included 12 victories. 

The return match against Napoli is on March 7 in Italy.

With former great Diego Maradona supporting from the tribunes, and nearly 5,000 fans loudly cheering from the stands, Napoli made an ideal start with Insigne opening the scoring with his superb long-range strike in the eighth minute. 

He received a nice through-ball from captain Marek Hamsik and struck a first-time shot from about 30 meters (yards) out to catch Navas off-guard. The ball bounced once before hitting the net near the far post as Navas desperately tried to recover. 

Benzema leveled 10 minutes later with a header after a cross by Dani Carvajal from the right flank, scoring his first goal in six games. The French striker, Madrid's top scorer in this season's Champions League with five goals, almost added another in a breakaway just before halftime, but his attempt struck the post. 

Kroos put Madrid ahead from just inside the area in the 49th minute after Cristiano Ronaldo cleared a defender to set up the German midfielder. Casemiro sealed the victory with his perfectly struck volley from outside the area in the 54th, hitting the far corner. 

Napoli had a goal disallowed for offside in the 80th. 

Ronaldo had a great chance to score in the 28th minute, but his shot from close range sailed over the crossbar.-AP

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