Real Madrid player ratings vs Napoli: Jude Bellingham the best in the world – but Los Blancos have a new hero in teenager Nico Paz

The England ace scored one goal and created another but it was Nico Diaz’s late strike which effectively secured another Champions League victory

Jude Bellingham was impactful once again but Real Madrid turned to an unlikely source to seal a Champions League win over Napoli. Academy product Nico Paz scored his first goal for the club in the 84th minute, a speculative strike from distance that gave his side the lead, serving as the defining moment in a 4-2 win.

Napoli took the lead early on, Giovanni Simeone bundling the ball over the line after a sweeping counter-attack. Their lead lasted less than two minutes. Rodrygo, after scoring twice at the weekend, found the equaliser, cutting onto his right foot and angling a shot into the top right corner.

And Madrid took the lead shortly after, Bellingham bagging his 15th goal of the season with an acrobatic header, nodded back across the keeper from the far post. But the visitors stayed in it. They levelled the contest after the break, Frank Anguissa lashing the ball into the corner early in the second half.

As the half wore on, Madrid looked more likely to grab a winner, creating a litany of chances, most of the game flowing through the influential Bellingham. And they found the big goal late. It came from Nico, who shimmied away from a defender before unleashing a shot from distance.

Alex Meret will feel he should have denied the effort, but it hit the net all the same, marking a seminal moment in the 19-year-old substitute’s career. Joselu’s fourth – a tap-in at the far post – sealed an ultimately comfortable victory for the hosts.

GOAL rates Real Madrid’s players from the Santiago Bernabeu…

First appeared on www.goal.com

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