Ramos gets Real out of jail after early battering

Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos performed another rescue act to wreck Napoli's fearless comeback attempt and take the Champions League title-holders into the quarter-finals on Tuesday after they had taken a first-half battering.

However, curiously enough, the question that arises before the clash against Napoli is simple - BBC or no BBC? Madrid were dominating possession and Dani Carvajal nearly scored a goal to remember as he juggled the ball through the Napoli defence but hooked his effort over won his weaker left foot.

Los Blancos almost leveled matters in the 29th minute as Cristiano Ronaldo rounded Pepe Reina, but ended up striking the upright from a tight angle.

Madrid should have leveled five minutes later, but Cristiano Ronaldo, having rounded Pepe Reina, skewed his shot against the post with the goal gaping-the seventh time Madrid has hit the woodwork this season, more than any other side.




That, coupled with some good signs in the first half of the game in Munich (they could have led at the break), gives Arsenal plenty of hope that they can get on the scoresheet. We'll go there to a hard ground where we'll suffer and it's still an open game. But we go into this game two goals down.

That suggests the team work harder when one, two or all of the three forwards are out and that allegation is nothing new. They are in third place on the defender goal-scoring charts for the club. I experienced the atmosphere here as a player and it was never easy. Beaten 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, Maurizio Sarri's men need to win by two clear goals or, were they to concede more than one, by three. Ronaldo is usually exempt from the defensive work, while Bale has been accused of slacking at times and Benzema criticised this term for a lack of intensity as well in the current campaign. They actually seemed to catch Real slightly unprepared, with their guests not seeming to know what to do with the attacking pressure Napoli were bringing.

It is, however, extremely unlikely - you can get 40/1 about them qualifying for the quarter-finals.

The question when a team comes out this vigorous is always "how long can they sustain it?'".

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