Napoli kept their Champions League hope on the balance despite only securing a draw against German side, Bayern Munich, at San Paolo last Tuesday in a highly entertaining match full of interesting incidents.
The home team must thanked, Bayern’s defender, Holger Badstuber, who pretty much rescued the Partenopei by putting the ball into the Bavarian’s own net.
Playing in a full packed crowd against the current group leader, Napoli looked a bit uneasy at the start of the first half as they already went a goal down in just two minutes after Toni Kroos caught Jerome Boateng’s cross and slams the ball pas Morgan De Sanctis on goal after previously running through the Partenopei defenders. That goal made the match becomes much more interesting as the home team are eager to get the equalizer but were also forced to worry about their defense a lot considering Bayern’s strong attacking play.
After surviving some scares from the visitor’s attack, Napoli find themselves level around five minutes before the break when Christian Maggio’s cross was accidentally being flicked by Badstuber pass his own keeper, Manuel Neuer. However, not long before that goal, the Partenopei could argue that they should have earned a penalty when Bastian Schweinstieger intercepted a ball inside the penalty area with his hand, which eventually blocked Marek Hamsik’s chance in heading the ball into Bayern’s goal.
After ending the first half in a 1-1 dray, the visitor once again threatening to take an early lead in the second period as they were given a penalty after the fourth referee believed Paolo Cannavaro handled the ball on purpose inside the box. Fortunately for the Partenopei, Mario Gomez was not up to the task as the German international striker amazingly missed the spot kick after putting the ball weakly into De Sanctis’ grasp, who didn’t really need to make a lot of effort in saving it.
The match continues to be entertaining until the final five minutes which saw both team seems to settling for a dray as the visitor were content on just passing the ball around instead of trying to go for broke in search of the winning goal. Meanwhile, the Partenopei also didn’t mind letting their opposition having most of the possession as they were also content in grabbing a point against a quality side such as Bayern, despite playing in front of fans at San Paolo.
Right after the match, Napoli’s coach, Walter Mazzarri confirmed that getting a draw was probably the best result that his team could achieve considering the quality that Bayern had along with the fact some decisions didn’t really go on the Partenopei’s way either. However, the tactician obviously satisfied with the fact that their Champions League dream is alive and well, although Manchester City starts to send alarming bell for the Italian team after the Premier League outfit picked up their first victory in the competition.
“We were facing a fantastic team of the highest quality, then a few incidents didn’t go our way, so overall the draw is the right result. In the last 10 games they have scored 25 goals and conceded just one, so that says a lot about the performance of my team,” Mazzarri said.
Napoli v Bayern Munich 1-1
Goals: Badstuber og 39 (Napoli); Kroos 2 (Bayern)
Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Maggio, Gargano, Inler (Santana 89), Zuniga; Hamsik (Mascara 91), Lavezzi; Cavani (Dzemaili 81)
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Boateng, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Lahm; Tymoshchuk, Schweinsteiger; T Muller, Kroos, Ribery (Alaba 90); Gomez (Gustavo 92)