UEFA Europa League winners last season, Eintracht Frankfurt are out of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League after losing their last-16 tie to Napoli.
Napoli 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt (agg: 5-0)
Goals: 1-0 Osimhen 45'+2 (assist: Politano), 2-0 Osimhen 53' (assist: Di Lorenzo), 3-0 Zielinski pen. 64'
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg and without top scorer Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht needed Kevin Trapp to be at his best to fend off Matteo Politano’s 20-yard strike inside the opening minute. The Eagles responded in kind as Kim Min-jae deflected a shot from Ansgar Knauff off target, while Rafael Borre flashed a header from a corner just wide. Trapp twice foiled Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, before Napoli extended their aggregate lead through former Wolfsburg striker Victor Osimhen’s unstoppable header on the stroke of half time.
Napoli struck again soon after the restart, when Osimhen applied the finishing touch to a flowing team move. Frankfurt refused to give up the ghost, though, as Daichi Kamada fired straight at Alex Meret and Borre sent an acrobatic effort wide. Trapp underlined his standing as one of Germany’s best goalkeepers with a full-stretch save to thwart Kvaratskhelia, but could not stop Napoli adding a third of the night. After drawing the foul from Djibril Sow, Piotr Zielinski stepped up to convert from the penalty spot and rubber-stamp the Serie A leaders’ place in the quarters.
- Eintracht were playing their first season of Champions League football.
- Osimhen failed to score in 16 competitive appearances for Wolfsburg.
- Kamada is Frankfurt’s all-time top scorer in UEFA competitions with 14 goals in 37 appearances.
- Frankfurt won all three away fixtures in the knockout stages of the Europa League last season – winning at Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham on the way to lifting the trophy.
- Frankfurt beat Napoli 1-0 on their only previous visit to Naples – in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in December 1994.
- Napoli have won five, but lost seven of 14 European matches against German clubs.
Napoli: Meret - Di Lorenzo (c), Rrahmani, Kim (Juan Jesus 66'), Mario Rui - Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski (Ndombele 74') - Politano (Lozano 66'), Osimhen (Simeone 81'), Kvaratskhelia (Elmas 74')
Unused subs: Gollini, Idasiak, Bereszynski, Olivera, Ostigard, Gaetano
Out: Raspadori (thigh)
Coach: Luciano Spalletti
Frankfurt: Trapp - Buta, Tuta, Ndicka - Knauff (Alidou 62'), Rode (c) (Jakic 74'), Sow, Lenz (Max 67') - Kamada, Götze - Borre
Unused subs: Horz, Ramaj, Chandler, Hasebe, Smolcic, Toure, Alario
Out: Dina Ebimbe (ankle), Grahl (ineligible), Kolo Muani (suspended), Lindstrom (ankle), Wenig (ineligible)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
As it happened
Full-time: Napoli 3-0 Frankfurt
Frankfurt are beaten but unbowed. They exit the Champions League having invested a great effort into overturning the two-goal first leg deficit. After Napoli struck just before half-time, there was just no stopping the Italian side's quality from then on.
End of second half
Two minutes of stoppage time indicated
Time is running out for Frankfurt to grab a goal.
Kamada and Max
The Japanese attacker finds the German wing man, who has been a handful since his introduction. He drills the ball in but Meret gathers it.
Buta's ball in is turned behind for a corner. Max swings a cross in and Meret saves. This is a brave attacking salvo from a Frankfurt side eager to regain some pride.
Alidou puts it in
Some good wing play from the Frankfurt substitute to shimmy and ping a cross in, but Lobotka clears.
Ten minutes remain
The curtain is about to fall on Frankfurt's Champions League campaign. The flurry of late substitutions has taken a bit of the rhythm out of the game, but the visitors are still closing down the Napoli players and giving their all.
Max swings a good free-kick in that Osimhen heads behind for a corner. Max's corner is then cleared before Frankfurt can threaten.
Napoli still attacking
Osimhen remains a livewire as Napoli look for more goals. Frankfurt would enjoy getting a goal or two back, but they are not finding chances easy to come by.
A tough old nightFrankfurt have defended very well for long stretches and Kevin Trapp has made some fine saves, yet they are 3-0 down. That speaks to the kind of quality Napoli possess!
© IMAGO/Antonio Balasco/IMAGO/Antonio Balasco
Eagles not soaring
You have to really feel for Frankfurt tonight. You cannot fault their application at all, but Napoli have shown once again why they are running away with Serie A this season - leaving the likes of Inter and AC Milan well behind them.
Trapp saved a spot kick in the first leg, but is beaten this time. Frankfurt look to be heading out of the Champions League with a defeat.
Penalty to Napoli
Zielinski is brought down by Sow and Anthony Taylor points to the spot.
Trapp flies to save
Yet another good attack from Napoli. Kvaratskhelia cuts inside dangerously and takes aim at the far post, only for Trapp to dive across and save.
Borre bicycle kick
Frankfurt have not given up! Kamada wheels forward and the ball bobbles up to Borre, who gets an acrobatic shot away, but off target.
Borre feeds the ball across for Kamada, who meets it in the six-yard box in a move similar to Napoli's second goal. He can only hit the ball into Meret, however. That was certainly one of Frankfurt's better chances tonight!
The Nigerian scores his second, and third of the tie, by turning in Politano's drilled cross from close range. Frankfurt are four down on aggregate now.
The Napoli centre-back ventures forward and hits a shot wide.
Napoli have been passing the ball around - rather slowly - as they seek to keep control and run the clock down a little. It will be tough for Frankfurt to get something from this tie.
We're back in action in Naples with Frankfurt needing three goals in the second half to keep this tie alive.
Half-time: Napoli 1-0 FrankfurtFrankfurt fans have to be pleased at the grit shown by their team so far tonight, despite the late blow in that first half that leaves them needing three goals in the second half to have any chance of progressing.
How cruel for Frankfurt!
They have battled right throughout the half but fall behind just on the stroke of the interval. Politano whips in a cross and a remarkable header from the Nigerian flies straight past Trapp.
Two additional minutes indicated
Napoli go on the attack, but Rode blocks them with some solid defending.
Kvaratskhelia falls into a Trapp
Another great run from the Napoli attacker gets him through on the Frankfurt keeper, but Trapp comes out really well to get a block on his shot and turn it behind for a corner.
The Napoli man goes down under a challenge from Rode. A tough but fair challenge, and he limps away after receiving some treatment but plays on.
On a knife edge
The tension is palpable in Naples. You'd think there has to be goals in this. If the first one goes Frankfurt's way, it will be game on, if it goes to Napoli, it would make things extremely difficult.
We've had a few minutes without any chances. Napoli have been passing the ball around well. Every single inch remains keenly contested in this game though!
Yellow for Lenz
Anthony Taylor shows the left-back a card for a challenge on Di Lorenzo.
Another Knauff delivery
A lot of Frankfurt's attacking has gone down the right channel manned by Knauff. It's a good ball in but the defender does his job just before Borre can meet it.
The ball is delivered from the right with three Frankfurt men trying to meet it. Di Lorenzo clears. Credit to the Bundesliga side though for riding out a spell of Napoli pressure and going toe-to-toe again with the Serie A leaders!
Booking for Ndicka
The defender sees yellow for manhandling Osimhen.
Kamada tries to find Borre
A couple of Napoli defenders surround the Colombian, however. It has been difficult for Frankfurt to find space going forward despite their best efforts.
Even affairFrankfurt had the better of the first 10 minutes, Napoli thereafter. It's an absorbing game!
Now he's shown what all the talk is about! Zielinski wins the ball off Sow and the Napoli attacker takes it to go on a mazy run past the Frankfurt defence. He sends in a testing shot from a tight angle that requires Trapp to react well to save.
Di Lorenzo chases down the flank well and whips a dangerous cross in that the Frankfurt defender steers clear. Osimhen then has a shot that Trapp saves. Napoli are building up a bit of attacking momentum here with some extremely sharp play.
It's been a very keenly contested and high-quality encounter so far. Both sides have two shots each, with the hosts enjoying 66% possession.
Kvaratskhelia can't find the target
In fact the Georgian striker curls his shot so much it goes out for a throw-in. A reminder nonetheless of Napoli's danger as they worked the ball to him very quickly.
A chance from the resulting corner but Borre heads just wide. Frankfurt have been the better team so far.
A pot shot from the Japanese attacker from 20 metres out takes a deflection and goes behind for a corner. Glasner applauds Frankfurt's solid start on the sidelines.
Borre crosses the ball from the right into Götze in the box. The World Cup winner can't get a shot away, but Frankfurt's combativeness and positivity has been good!
Frankfurt have shown they are going to put everything into this. There have been a few tasty challenges in midfield already, with Sow and Anguissa coming together in one to fiercely contest possession.
The Frankfurt goalkeeper is into action early, diving to stop a Politano drive in the box.
Off we go
The big second-leg starts, with Napoli taking the game to Frankfurt right away.
It could be a back four for Frankfurt
Lenz could take a left full-back position in a defensive quartet. We shall see.
Here come the players!
Now we have the anthem, and play is about to begin.
English referee tonight
Anthony Taylor is officiating. He was in charge of Bayern's 3-0 Champions League group stage win against Barcelona - a good omen, perhaps.
The boss's words
Oliver Glasner said ahead of the match: "We have to show everything we have. Throw everything into it - and I think we have a lot to give."
The stadium is filling up very nicely and we await the teams!
Three goals needed at European giants, you say?
In April last year, Frankfurt raced to a 3-0 lead at Barcelona thanks to two goals from Kostic and one from Borre. After drawing the first leg 1-1, Eintracht knocked out the Catalans in a sensational result, despite two late goals from Barcelona. The Eagles also won at Real Betis (2-1) and West Ham (1-0) in knockout ties on the way to lifting the Europa League.
The scene of tonight's encounterThe Stadio Diego Armando Maradona has been getting ready. The name alone hints at how much is at stake for Napoli in a potentially historic season. Frankfurt will need to draw on all the experience gained in their Europa League heroics last season to pull off a shock comeback tonight.
More on the Napoli team
The attacking duo of Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia are big reasons Napoli are being touted as dark horses to win the Champions League. They both start tonight, unsurprisingly, but it is Politano who joins them in a front free this time with Lozano having a recent injury but making the bench. Mario Rui also replaces Olivera at left-back in the one other change to the side that won 2-0 in Frankfurt.
More on the Frankfurt team
As expected, Colombian Rafael Borre faces the tricky task of leading the Frankfurt attack as they try to somehow overturn the two-goal first-leg deficit with star striker Kolo Muani suspended. That makes space for Kamada to come into the side behind the striker, and alongside Götze. There are two other changes to the side that drew 1-1 at home to Stuttgart on Saturday - Knauff and Lenz come in on the wings, while Buta drops back in defence with Hasebe on the bench.
Napoli starting XI
Meret - Di Lorenzo (c), Rrahmani, Kim, Mario Rui – Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski – Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Gollini, Idasiak, Bereszynski, Juan Jesus, Olivera, Ostigard, Elmas, Ndombele, Gaetano, Lozano, Simeone
Frankfurt starting XI
Trapp - Buta, Tuta, Ndicka - Knauff, Rode (c), Sow, Lenz - Kamada, Götze – Borre
Horz, Ramaj, Chandler, Hasebe, Max, Smolcic, Toure, Jakic, Alario, Alidou
Watch: Eintracht Frankfurt's Europa League celebrationsHowever close Eintracht come to overturning the first-leg deficit, one fact will remain - they are reigning Europa League winners!
Osimhen menaceThe Nigerian scored in the first leg, and he looks set to be crowned top goalscorer as Napoli seal the Serie A title this season - a scenario that few would have expected when Osimhen made 16 appearances for Wolfsburg in 2017/18, without scoring a goal.
© Cathrin Müller /M.i.S./imago/MIS
Borre boost?With lead striker Randal Kolo Muani suspended and Jesper Lindstrom injured, Frankfurt's attacking hopes are suddenly largely resting on Rafael Borre. The Colombian showed in last season's Europa League he has what it takes on the continental stage, scoring four times in the competition, and once in the final as the Eagles saw off Rangers to lift the trophy.
© IMAGO/Jürgen Kessler/IMAGO/Kessler-Sportfotografie
Watch: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 VfB Stuttgart - highlights
We meet again
The form book is not exactly in Frankfurt's favour, with the Eagles unable to win three Bundesliga clashes since last month's first leg. On the plus side, they drew two of those (2-2 in Wolfsburg and 1-1 at home to Stuttgart on Saturday). Napoli have two wins since the first meeting as they continue to coast towards the Serie A title, but they did show they are beatable at home - suffering their first loss in Naples this season 0-1 to Lazio.
We will keep you updated here on Eintracht Frankfurt's mission to overturn Napoli's two-goal first-leg advantage in the Champions League last 16. That will be anything but easy, but would be something truly special if they can pull it off!
Watch: The best of Eintracht Frankfurt so far in 2022/23
Despite Kevin Trapp's penalty save, Eintracht Frankfurt lost the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Napoli 2-0, not helped by Randal Kolo Muani's second-half sending off.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 Napoli
Goals: 0-1 Osimhen 40', 0-2 Di Lorenzo 58'
Red card: Kolo Muani 65'
Having enjoyed an unbeaten run to UEFA Europa League glory last season, Frankfurt were daring to dream of another spectacular European night at the Deutsche Bank Park. Kolo Muani shot across goal and Mario Götze drove wide as the Eagles made a confident start, before Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret prevented Philipp Max heading in Aurelio Buta’s cross. Napoli responded through Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who tested the reflexes of Trapp. The Frankfurt goalkeeper then pulled off a superb penalty save from the same player, but was powerless to prevent former Wolfsburg striker Victor Osimhen converting from close range late in the first half.
Frankfurt were up against it as Osimhen had a second goal ruled out for offside, before Trapp rode to his side’s rescue with a strong save to beat away Hirving Lozano’s 20-yard shot. The Germany international kept Eintracht in the game when he blocked at the feet of Kvaratskhelia, but Oliver Glasner’s team were left with a mountain to climb in the 56th minute when Kolo Muani was shown a straight red card for a dangerous challenge on Frank Anguissa. Although Giovanni Di Lorenzo doubled the visitors’ lead soon after, Frankfurt knew a goal would blow the tie wide open ahead of the second leg on 15 March. Daichi Kamada almost got it, the Japan international firing straight at Meret in the closing stages.