Title holders Real Madrid denied Liverpool a comeback miracle when they advanced into the Champions league quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday.
The record 14-time champions Real had handed Liverpool a historic European home defeat three weeks ago at Anfield with a 5-2 triumph from 2-0 down.
They were never really troubled in their 300th Champions League match at the Bernabeu where Karim Benzema’s late winner clinched a 6-2 aggregate success.
While Real are a familiar name in the later stages, Italy’s Napoli reached the quarters for the first by completing a comprehensive 5-0 overall win over Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt with a 3-0 home victory from Victor Osimhen’s brace and Piotr Zielinski.
“We want to enjoy the moment and look ahead. It’s a great win, we rewrote the history of this club,” Osimhen told Prime Video.
Napoli’s success means that Italy have three teams in the final eight for the first time since 2006, the others being AC and Inter Milan.
Serie A clubs have not lifted the trophy since Inter’s success in 2010.
England’s Manchester City and Chelsea, Germany’s Bayern Munich, Portugal’s Benfica and Spain’s Real are the other teams, with the quarter- and semi-final draw scheduled for Friday.
Goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois of Real and Alisson Becker of Liverpool had not always looked good in the first leg but there was almost no way past them at the Bernabeu - with especially Courtois frustrating the Reds just like he had in last year’s final Real had won 1-0.
Darwin Nunez failed to beat the Belgian after Liverpool took advantage of Real defender Antonio Rüdiger slipping when trying to control a bad pass.
At the other end Vincius Junior was denied from point-blank range by Alisson who then also managed to tip a long-distance drive from Eduardo Camavinga against the crossbar.
Courtois made another save against Nunez’ curling shot and also palmed away a cannon from Cody Gakpo as Liverpool tried their best to fight back from the historic first leg defeat.
Federico Valverde was the next player denied by Alisson after the restart, but more lively Real eventually broke the deadlock in the 79th when Benzema slotted into the empty net after Vinicius Junior had flicked the ball over to him past Alisson while lying on the ground.
Liverpool left with their anthem “You’ll never walk alone” played in the Bernabeu as manager Jürgen Klopp admitted “that was not a performance for a miracle.
“Real Madrid were the better team. The right team went through. If you want to have a miracle you have to play better or against another team,” Klopp said.
The game in Naples was overshadowed by afternoon fan violence in the city centre, according to reports from both camps as hundreds of Frankfurt fans had made their way to Italy despite a blanket stadium ban on Frankfurt residents imposed by the local prefecture over security concerns in connection with violence three weeks ago at the first game in Germany.
On the pitch, Matteo Politano had a first chance for the runaway Serie A leaders two minutes into the game and Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp then also saved twice from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Frankfurt rarely threatened, and their comeback hopes effectively ended in first-half stoppage time when Osimhen rose to head Politano’s cross into the top right corner.
It was really all over for the visitors when captain Giovanni di Lorenzo’s cross was poked home by Osimhen in the 53rd and Zielinski converted a penalty 11 minutes later after being brought down by Djibril Sow.
“It wasn’t easy, but we managed to reach a historical aim for Napoli,” Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti told UEFA.com.
Frankfurt midfielder Sebastian Rode conceded to streaming portal DAZN that “we have lost again against a fantastic team, they have a lot of class, everyone knows their part. We did well over long courses but gave the ball away badly for the goals.”