UCL: Napoli: 2 Beşiktaş: 3

Updated: October 19, 2016

Coming off two consecutive wins on the road in the Süper Lig, the Black Eagles went in to their third Champions League group stage match of the season, their second away game. Surprisingly Beşiktaş came away with 3 points after a spectacular match, a historic win for multiple reasons.

Prior to the match Napoli were just one win removed from making history in the Champions League, a win would guarantee them qualification to the next round, which would make them the first team to achieve that feat after just three games in the group stages.

In addition the Italians had never lost before at home in the Champions League and previously the Champions Cup (prior to the formation of the ‘Champions League’ in 1993).

Beşiktaş on the other hand had never won against an Italian team both home and away, they only managed to get two dras from a total eleven encounters with Italian opposition.

A tall order for the Black Eagles to get a win tonight would be an understatement. But football wouldn’t be the amazing sport that it is if it wasn’t riddled with surprises.

After some hellacious pressure from the home side in the opening 10 minutes, in which they had several well crafted attacks and one massive opportunity for Dries Mertens after a corner, the Black Eagles took the lead early in the match after Ricardo Quaresma crossed the ball in low towards the second post where Adriano Correia put the Eagles 0-1 after just 12 minutes.

The pressure from Napoli only increased from there and the Eagles had to rely on their goalkeeper in several phases of the match, only six minutes after the opener the Spaniard had to deny Dries Mertens from short range after a splendid lofted pass over the top by Marék Hamsik.

Mertens again had the chance to pull thing slevel in the 28th minute, but his his header went wide off target. Two minutes later however the tiny Belgian did beat Fabri at the near post after an excellent cross in from the right hand side: 1-1 after 30 minutes.

Following the equalizer the home side nearly took the lead after Fabri misjudged a long ball as he was coming out of goal, he seemingly held back in order to not handle the ball outside the box and luckily for him the ball bobbled just wide off goal.

Fabricio put in a heroic performance, ultimately leading to a historic victory for the Black Eagles.

Fabricio put in a heroic performance, ultimately leading to a historic victory for the Black Eagles.

A mix up in the Napoli defense 7 minutes later would see Vincent Aboubakar score his first ever goal for the Black Eagles in an official match, Pepe Reina got a touch to his shot but the Cameroonian International stunned the San Paolo stadium for a second time as he put the Black Eagles 1-2 up after 37 minutes.

The hosts continued tgheir offensive despite the second setback and Fabri was forced to make another good save on a long range effort from Zielinski.

Beşiktaş went in to halftime with a surprising lead: 1-2 halfway through the match.

Both sides started the second half with the same lineup and Napoli earned an early penalty in the second half as Dries Mertens looked for contact with Fabri and got awarded the spotkick by the Russian referee.

Lorenzo Insigne stept up to take the penalty but Fabri once again proved his worth for the Black Eagles as denied the Italian the equalizing goal from the spot after just 50 minutes.

Following the penalty it seemed as if Napoli’s tank was running near empty and the Black Eagles took more and more control of the game. Halfway through the second half it seemed as if Beşiktaş had everything under control.

Manolo Gabbiadini was brought on for the hosts, a true striker as they had been playing with a false 9 thusfar, and 5 minutes after he came on he had already pulled the scoreline level, from the spot. Napoli were awarded a second penalty in the 68th minute following a foul from Caner Erkin on once again Dries Mertens. Caner was holding on to Mertens as he turned following a corner, a situation which occurs nearly every match but almost never results in a penalty, but at the end of the day you can’t argue it’s legitimacy.

Fabri this time could not save the spotkick as he was sent the wrong way, Gabbiadini pulls it level after 69 minutes: 2-2.

Vincent Aboubakar picked a good time to start scoring, his brace leading the Eagles to their first Champions League victory of the season!

Vincent Aboubakar picked a good time to start scoring, his brace leading the Eagles to their first Champions League victory of the season!

The goal seemed to give Napoli their second wind and they started pushing the Black Eagles back once again in search for their third goal. Fabri had already kep tout yet another scoring chances after just 71 minutes and for a second it looked like Gabbiadini had found that possible winner but he was correctly adjudged offside in the 75th minute, so his bikecycle-kick goal was disallowed.

Following the disallowed goal the tempo of the match staggered a bit and the Black Eagles were awarded a free-kick in the 85th minute, Ricardo Quaresma curled it in perfectly as Pepe Reina stayed on his line allowing Vincent Aboubakar to head in the ball easily at the second post, an unexpected third goal and 2-3 after 86 minutes.

The third and final goal from the Black Eagles would prove to be the knock-out blow as they comfortably held on to the lead this time and finished the match with a stunning win on the road against Napoli, their first win of the Champions League campaign.


With these crucial 3 points Beşiktaş are now fully in contention to go through to the next round, they’re just one point behind Napoli in the standigns and one ahead of Benfica, with Dynamo Kyiv remaining bottom with just 1 point from 3 games.

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Interesting facts:

  • Napoli suffer their first ever home defeat in UEFA Champions League/Champions Cup competition.
  • Beşiktaş get their first ever win against an Italian opponent in UEFA competition.
  • Ricardo Quaresma gave two assists on his 50th Champions League appearance, he now has 8 goals and 6 assists in the Champions League.
  • Vincent Aboubakar scores his first and second goal for Beşiktaş in an official match.
  • Fabricio Agosto Ramirez is the first ever Beşiktaş goalkeeper to save a penalty in the UEFA Champions league
  • Beşiktaş proved incredibly efficient tonight as all 3 of their shots on target turned in to goals.
  • Beşiktaş have scored 6 of their last 11 Champions League after the 82nd minute.
  • Beşiktaş have scored 3 goals in a Champions League away game for the first time in their history.

Stadium: Stadio San Paolo

Official: Sergey Karasev (RUS)

Napoli XI: Pepe Reina; Christian Maggio – Kalidou Koulibaly – Vlad Chiriches – Faouzi Ghoulam; Marek Hamsik – Jorginho (70′ Amadou Diawara) –  Piotr Zielinski (82′ Allan Marques); Lorenzo Insigne (65′ Manolo Gabbiadini) – Dries Mertens – Jose Callejon

Reserves: Luigi Sepe, Elseid Hysaj, Nikola Maksimovic, Emanuele Giaccherini, Allan Marques, Amadou Diawara, Manolo Gabbiadini

Head coach: Maurizio Sarri

Beşiktaş XI: Fabricio Ramirez; Andreas Beck – Marcelo Guedes – Dusko Tosic – Caner Erkin; Atiba Hutchinson – Necip Uysal – Tolgay Arslan (75′ Cenk Tosun); Ricardo Quaresma – Vincent Aboubakar – Adriano Correia (70′ Gökhan İnler)

Reserves: Tolga Zengin, Gökhan Gönül, Gökhan İnler, Olcay Şahan, Anderson Talisca, Cenk Tosun

Head coach: Şenol Güneş

Goals: Adriano Correia (12′), Dries Mertens (31′), Vincent Aboubakar (37′, 87′), Manolo Gabbiadini (69′ Pen)

Yellow cards: Adriano Correia (53′), Christian Maggio (53′), Caner Erkin (68′), Vincent Aboubakar (88′)

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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