UCL: Beşiktaş: 1 Napoli: 1

Updated: November 1, 2016

Beşiktaş and Napoli squared off two hours prior to all other games int he Champions League due to the time difference between Turkey and Central Europe following the daylight savings time change. It proved to be a grueling physical clash between two sides who were eager to reach the next round of the Champions League.


Beşiktaş were forced to make two changes to the side that beat Napoli at the San Paolo stadium, Caner Erkin and Necip Uysal were both ruled out due to injury and were replaced by Gökhan Inler and Luiz Rhodolfo in the starting lineup.

Much like the first match in Naples it was Napoli who started with the most initiative going forward, leading to an excellent chance after just 1 minute and 14 seconds. Algerian left-back Ghoulam delivered a good cross in for Manolo Gabbiadini but Fabri did excellently to prevent the visitors from taking an early lead.

After six minutes the Black Eagles showed their claws for the first time as Vincent Aboubakar beat Koulibaly to the ball and put it past Pepe Reina, but referee Mark Clattenburg saw a foul from the Beşiktaş striker on Koulibaly and disallowed the early goal. A correct decision.

Eleven minutes in to the game Manolo Gabbiadini was presented with another chance, but again Fabri blocked his way to goal and prevented the visitors from taking the lead.

And the early pressure from Napoli would not stop there, as Allan delivered in an excellent cross for José Callejon – who blasted it wide – Dusko Tosic went down with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Yet another injury to the Black Eagles who will be happy with the international break around the corner. Tosic tried to continue for a few more minutes but had to substituted off after 22 minutes, Cenk Tosun was his replacement.

After nearly half an hour on the clock the biggest opportunity of the matches presented itself to Beşiktaş captain Atiba Hutchinson, but the Canadian found the post in his way to glory as he had beaten Pepe Reina with his shot. A fantastic chance to take the lead for the Black Eagles!

In the remainder of the first half there was one more attempt from the Eagles, Vincent Aboubakar trying his luck from outside the box but Reina held on to it comfortably, and a volleyed chance for Lorenzo Insigne but the Italian’s attempt did not match the quality of the delivery.

A 0-0 draw was the score at halftime, with 2 good chances for Napoli early on and the best chance of the match thusfar coming in the 29th minute for Atiba Hutchinson. A scoreline which was certain to please Şenol Güneş nonetheless.

Napoli once again looked most eager from the kick-off and had an excellent opportunity six minutes in to the second half to take the lead as José Callejon found himself one on one with Fabri, but the Beşiktaş goalkeeper did brilliantly to rush out of goal quickly and forced the Napoli winger to squeeze his attempt wide.

Oğuzhan Özyakup made his return after two months of injury woes in the 65th minute, he replaced Gökhan İnler.


Once again Ricardo Quaresma’s goal would prove enough for just one point, but he has been involved in 4 of the 6 goals scored by the Black Eagles so far in this Champions League campaign.

Napoli seemed firmly in control of the match and kept looking for the opening but after the 73rd minute the Black Eagles started to poke back, after having two earlier penalty shouts turned down referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot in the 77th minute after a handball from Maksimovic, Ricardo Quaresma took his responsibility and converted the penalty kick putting the Black Eagles 1-0 up in the 78th minute.

A certain victory so late in the game? No, Napoli needed to get atleast a point or risk being put in a very dangerous position so they pressed relentlessly to find that equalizer in the final 10 minutes of regular playing time.

After a throw in which probably should have gone Beşiktaş’ way Dries Mertens played the ball to the center toward Napoli captain Marék Hamsik, the Slovakian curled in an inch perfect shot from the edge of the penalty area and beat Fabri to his left: 1-1 after 82 minutes. A very unfortunate goal to concede so late in the game, but a near perfect shot from Hamsik.

Both teams made a few more moves going forward but it seemed as if they both were satisfied with the draw, although Napoli did turn up the pressure in the final two minutes of stoppage time. Despite giving up their lead late in the game the Black Eagles can probably be most satisfied with this draw given the flow of the match, with Napoli being the better side for the majority of 90 minutes. Nonetheless Beşiktaş now have 4 points in 2 games against Napoli and remain undefeated in the UEFA Champions League after 4 matches. Together with Real Madrid they’re the only team across Europe who remains undefeated in the Champions League aswell as in their domestic league.

Up next Beşiktaş will host Benfica in a must win match if the Black Eagles want to qualify for the next round in the Champions League for the first time in their history, Napoli host Dynamo Kyiv at the San Paolo in Naples and can secure qualifcation if they win and Beşiktaş lose.

Who was your man of the match?


Interesting facts:

  • Beşiktaş have scored more goals against Napoli than any other opponent in a single UEFA Champions League campaign (4, along with Paris Saint-Germain).
  • Ricardo Quaresma has been involved in 4 goals (2 goals, 2 assists) in 4 Champions League appearances for Beşiktaş this season.
  • Şenol Güneş has coached 10 Champions League group stage games and has seen seven draws in total (W2 L1).
  • Beşiktaş have scored a penalty goal in the Champions League for the first time in 13 years (Daniel Pancu vs Lazio Roma (1-1) 26.11.2003).
  • Beşiktaş are one of only two teams left in the Champions League who remain undefeated both domestically aswell as in the UCL group stages (Real Madrid being the other).

Location: Vodafone Arena

Official: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

Beşiktaş XI: Fabricio Ramirez; Andreas Beck – Marcelo Guedes – Luiz Rhodolfo – Dusko Tosić (24′ Cenk Tosun); Atiba Hutchinson – Gökhan İnler (66′ Oğuzhan Özyakup) – Tolgay Arslan; Ricardo Quaresma – Vincent Aboubakar – Adriano Correia

Reserves: Tolga Zengin, Gökhan Gönül, Atınç Nukan, Oğuzhan Özyakup, Kerim Frei, Olcay Şahan, Cenk Tosun

Head coach: Şenol Güneş

Napoli XI: Pepe Reina; Elseid Hysaj – Nikola Maksimovic – Kalidou Koulibaly – Faouzi Ghoulam; Allan Marques (81′ Piotr Zielinski) – Jorginho (79′ Amadou Diawara) – Marék Hamsik; José Callejon – Manolo Gabbiadini (63′ Dries Mertens) – Lorenzo Insigne

Reserves: Rafael Cabral, Vlad Chiriches, Emanuele Giaccherini, Christian Maggio, Piotr Zielinski, Amadou Diawara, Dries Mertens

Head coach: Maurizio Sarri

Goals: Ricardo Quaresma (78′ pen), Marék Hamsik (82′)

Yellow cards: Gökhan İnler (47′), Jorginho (57′), Cenk Tosun (83′)

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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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