Having picked up a red-card at the Deutsche Bank Park during Frankfurt’s first-leg loss, Randal Kolo Muani would be a notable absence from Oliver Glasner’s matchday squad – replaced by Rafael Borré. However, it was fan trouble in the centre of Naples that stole the headlines before kickoff. German fans were banned from attending the second leg after fights broke out in Frankfurt ahead of kick-off two weeks ago, but that didn’t stop the notorious Frankfurt ultras from arriving in Italy in huge numbers.
NAP: Meret; Rui, Kim Min-jae, Rrahmani, Di Lorenzo; Zielinski, Lobotka, Zambo Anguissa; Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen, Politano
FRA: Trapp; Lenz, Ndicka, Tuta, Buta; Sow, Rode; Kamada, Gotze, Knauff; Borré
Napoli started this fixture as most would have expected – looking to add to their advantage with an early opener. A half-chance fell to Politano within the first minute, but the winger’s strike was saved well by Kevin Trapp.
Chances did fall to Frankfurt, who attacked well early on – and die Adler won a corner. However, that opportunity went begging as the ball sailed out for a goal-kick, representing a golden opportunity missed for the visitors.
Kvaratskhelia found Victor Osimhen with fifteen minutes played, allowing the Nigerian striker to get a low shot off that was well saved by Trapp – but the striker was offside as the pass was played regardless.
Napoli were denied the opener by Kevin Trapp just minutes later, after Kvaratskhelia dribbled through the Frankfurt defence, working his way to the right-hand side of the box before unleashing a close-range strike from a tight angle – but a good reaction from the German keeper kept the scores level in Naples.
A great chance fell to Frankfurt on the thirty-minute mark, as a fabulous through ball opened up a goalscoring opportunity for Gotze and Borré – but a moment of hesitation allowed Alex Meret to come and seize the ball to bring an end to the attack.
Another Frankfurt chance followed soon after, as Kim Min-jae took a few seconds too long to clear the ball, allowing die Adler to apply the pressure – though the defender was eventually able to hoof it upfield to keep the game at 0-0.
Napoli should have taken the lead minutes before half-time when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia cut inside before unleashing a curling shot on goal – but it was dealt with well by Frankfurt’s defence and the resulting corner came to nothing for the hosts.
Di Lorenzo’s cross into the box was cleared well by Rode, denying Piotr Zielinski a shot on goal – though the hosts took the lead before half-time through Victor Osimhen, who headed Matteo Politano’s cross into the top-right corner, leaving Kevin Trapp practically rooted to the spot.
The visitors certainly had work to do in the second half – and that task was almost made more difficult by Kim Min-jae, who surged through the Eintracht Frankfurt midfield, making it to the by-line before attempting to drill a ball back across the face of goal – but the Korean’s effort sailed behind the near post.
Napoli scored their second of the night soon after that chance though, as Kvaratskhelia switched the ball to the right beautifully, finding Politano. The Italian played it short to Di Lorenzo, allowing the club captain to fire a cross into the box that inevitably met the foot of Victor Osimhen – who slotted the ball into an open goal to send i Partinopei 4-0 up on aggregate.
A sensational chance fell to Kvaratskhelia on the hour mark, after Aurelio Buta had intercepted Osimhen’s last-ditch cross into the box. Napoli’s Georgian winger won back possession and cut into the box in his trademark style, unleashing a curling effort towards the far post that was parried away well by Trapp.
I Partinopei won a penalty soon after that had the potential to well and truly put this tie to bed, as Piotr Zielinski was fouled inside the box – and the Polish midfielder stepped up to convert from six yards. His strike was sent straight down the middle, misleading Kevin Trapp who dived to his right – meaning Napoli led 3-0 on the night, and 5-0 on aggregate.
Frankfurt looked well and truly dead and buried after Zielinski’s penalty, and the tempo of the game was noticeably slower. They still continued to look for a goal – but at this stage, it would be nothing other than a mere consolation. Napoli matched Frankfurt’s desperation for a goal with a stubborn refusal to concede, with Kevin Trapp able to deny the visitors whenever they came begging.
A comfortable 3-0 win on the night sees Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli cruise through to the Champions League Quarterfinals, defeating last season’s Europa League winners 5-0 on aggregate. They become the third Italian side to qualify for the next round, joining AC Milan and Inter – while Frankfurt’s elimination means there will be no German sides present for the rest of this tournament.