Napoli Draw at Home, Real Sociedad Thrash Benfica

David Fofana of FC Union Berlin celebrated in style after scoring his team’s first goal during the thrilling UEFA Champions League match against SSC Napoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples, Italy. It was a moment of redemption for Union Berlin, who had been enduring a dismal run of 12 consecutive losses in the 2023/24 season.

The German club had started their Bundesliga campaign with two impressive 4-1 victories, but their fortunes quickly took a turn for the worse. However, they showed great resilience and determination as they fought back from behind to secure a hard-fought 1-1 draw against a dominant Napoli side.

Napoli started the game with a flurry of attacks, controlling possession and creating numerous chances. They thought they had taken the lead when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa headed home Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s header, but VAR ruled it out due to a foul committed by Di Lorenzo. Despite the setback, Napoli continued to press and eventually broke the deadlock in the 39th minute, with Matteo Politano displaying excellent reactions to convert Mario Rui’s deflected cross.

Union Berlin, desperate to end their losing streak, came close to equalizing just before half-time, but Josip Juranovic’s free-kick struck the post. The second half saw Napoli maintain their dominance, but Union Berlin stunned them with a lightning-fast counterattack. A long ball found David Fofana, who cleverly drew in defenders before setting up Sheraldo Becker. Becker’s shot was saved by Alex Meret, but Fofana was there to smash home the rebound.

Napoli pushed for a winner, but Union Berlin’s resolute defending denied them the victory. The draw leaves Napoli with seven points from four games, while Union Berlin finally opened their account in European competition. Real Madrid currently leads Group C and will face Braga later in the day.

In another Champions League clash, Real Sociedad solidified their position in Group D with a comfortable 3-1 home win over Benfica. The Basque side entered the game level on points with Inter Milan at the top of the standings, while Benfica arrived in Spain without a single point to their name.

Real Sociedad wasted no time in asserting their dominance, with Mikel Merino heading them in front after just six minutes. The advantage was doubled five minutes later when Mikel Oyarzabal capitalized on some sloppy defending to calmly slot the ball into the net. Ander Barrenetxea made it three for Sociedad in the 21st minute, cutting inside onto his right foot and unleashing a powerful shot that nestled into the far corner.

Sociedad could have extended their lead further, but Brais Mendez missed a penalty before the halftime whistle. Benfica managed to pull one back through Rafa Silva in the 49th minute, raising hopes of a comeback. However, Real Sociedad held on to secure the victory and move onto 10 points from four games. Inter Milan will face Salzburg later in the day in the same group.

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