HomeChampions LeagueNapoli strike late after Politano penalty to beat Rangers 3-0

Napoli strike late after Politano penalty to beat Rangers 3-0

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group A – Rangers v Napoli – Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – September 14, 2022 Napoli’s Tanguy Ndombele celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

GLASGOW (Reuters) – Napoli stayed on top of their Champions League group as Matteo Politano’s penalty and late strikes by Giacomo Raspadori and Tanguy Ndombele sealed a 3-0 victory over 10-man Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday and maintained their unbeaten start.

Politano opened the scoring in the 68th minute, having taking over penalty duties from midfielder Piotr Zielinski who was twice denied from the spot by Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor in the second half.

The spot kick, awarded after Borna Barisic had handled the ball in the box, came after Napoli had squandered two chances to go ahead from the penalty spot following James Sands’s dismissal for a clumsy challenge on Giovanni Simeone.

Zielinski’s tame shot was first saved by McGregor before Politano reacted sharply to slide the ball home but the Video Assistant Referee ordered the penalty to be retaken for encroachment by the Napoli forward line.

Veteran McGregor, who replaced the injured Jon McLaughlin for the game, dived to his left to deny Zielinski a second time, but the home fans were silenced as Napoli continued to attack and Raspadori and Ndombele sealed the win after slick moves.

The result means Luciano Spalletti’s side, who thrashed Liverpool 4-1 in their opener of the competition, have six points from two matches in Group A while their Scottish opponents are bottom after two defeats.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)