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Key Events

90' + 4'
P. Burner
C. Jallet
85'
M. Rog
Allan
82'
R. Walter
A. Saint-Maximin
79'
A. Pléa
Yellow 2nd/RC
79'
V. Koziello
Red Card
75'
A. Milik
D. Mertens
70'
Jorginho
Penalty Goal
65'
A. Pléa
Yellow Card
63'
L. Insigne
Yellow Card
60'
O. Boscagli
M. Sarr
59'
P. Zieliński
M. Hamšík
13'
L. Insigne
Assist
13'
D. Mertens
Goal
3
1
3
2

Stats

Possession
% %
11
4
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 9 0
Total Passes 621 520

Commentary

After all that's happened this evening, Napoli might be feeling a little disappointed that they could only leave with a 2-0 win. They comfortably bossed the game throughout but just couldn't seem to convert a plethora of excellent chances. Jorginho did well to bury his penalty but, in the end, Nice somehow managed to hold on to leave with a relatively respectable scoreline under their belts.
FULL-TIME: NAPOLI 2-0 NICE
90' + 5' One final attack down the left wing results in what should be a final corner for Napoli. It's curled into the heart of the penalty area and almost finds Koulibaly, but the defender ends up fouling Dante and gives away a free-kick. That should be that.
P. Burner
C. Jallet
Nice
90' + 4' Nice have made their final substitution of the night, with Jallet making way for Patrick Burner.
90' + 2' Another attempted Napoli attack fails to come to anything, allowing Nice to break forward on a rare attacking move of their own. Boscagli is halted and fouled on halfway line, however, and the visitors then unsurprisingly take their time with the resulting free-kick.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be five minutes of added time.
89' Almost another chance for Insigne! The forward makes yet another good run into the box as he desperately tries to bag a goal for himself, but, once again, the pass is slightly overhit and can only find Cardinale.
88' It's all Napoli as they desperately try to make their numerical advantage count. Insigne does really well deep down the left wing before trying to play a quick one-two with Zielinski, but the Polish midfielder's pass into the penalty area is slightly too heavy and can't find the forward.
86' Milik misses a sitter! A lofted pass into the right-hand side of the Nice box finds Callejon in plenty of space. He then squares a lovely ball into the path of Milik, who sticks out a foot but, somehow, ends up missing it completely. That really should have resulted in a third goal for Napoli!
M. Rog
Allan
Napoli
85' Napoli have made a third and final alteration, with Allan making way for Marko Rog.
83' Milik receives the ball just outside of the Nice penalty area and is immediately barged into by Dante, resulting in a free-kick for the home side in a dangerous position. Insigne steps up and shoots, but his effort is slightly too powerful and sails a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
R. Walter
A. Saint-Maximin
Nice
82' Nice have made a late change, with Remi Walter coming on to replace Saint-Maximin.
81' Zielinski requires quite a bit of medical attention as he rolls around on the floor in pain, but he's eventually able to get back to his feet and rejoin the action.
A. Pléa
Yellow 2nd/RC
Nice
79' ANOTHER RED CARD! Plea immediately confronts the referee about the incident and receives a second yellow card for dissent. What a terrible evening this has been for Nice!
V. Koziello
Red Card
Nice
79' RED CARD! Nice's night has gone from bad to worse. Koziello flies into Zielinski and catches the midfielder with a late challenge, leaving the Napoli man on the ground and resulting in the red card coming out.
78' Space opens up for Allan in the middle of the pitch as he darts towards a through-ball poked forward from Milik. It's slightly overhit by the Polish striker though, and Cardinale can dart out to deal with the danger.
76' Big chance for Insigne! Allan wins back possession deep inside the Nice half of the pitch before driving into the box. He then cuts a lovely pass back to Insigne, who quickly shoots but can't get the better of Cardinale in the middle of the goal.
A. Milik
D. Mertens
Napoli
75' Napoli have made their second alteration of the game, with Arkadiusz Milik coming on to take the place of Mertens.
74' Plea goes close! The striker, who has seen very little of the ball this evening, swivels on the edge of the Napoli penalty area and unleashes a thumping volley. It's slightly too powerful, however, and loops onto the roof of the net.
72' Napoli quickly win the ball back from the restart and push forward on a swift attack in search of a third goal. Insigne gets himself into a good position and then whips a cross into the penalty area, but it can't find a team-mate and is well dealt with by the visitors.
Jorginho
Penalty Goal
Napoli
70' GOAL! Jorginho steps up and coolly slots a wonderful shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. Napoli have been searching for a second goal since the 13th minute and have finally got it.
69' PENALTY! Napoli move the ball around beautifully deep down the left wing before Insigne and Mertens link up really well on the edge of the penalty area. The Belgian cuts inside and takes on Jallet, who smashes into the forward and brings him crashing to the ground, resulting in the referee pointing to the spot.
67' And now Insigne goes close! A Napoli corner in from the left wing fails to result in a chance on goal for the home side but quickly finds its way to Insigne. The forward cuts inside and onto his right foot before shooting, but Cardinale is just about able to keep the shot out at the near post.
66' Souquet almost puts the ball into the back of his own net! A beautiful cross into the box from Mertens causes all sorts of problems for Souquet, who initially does well to meet the ball but ends up giving Cardinale a scare with a bullet header that crashes off the woodwork.
A. Pléa
Yellow Card
Nice
65' Plea leaves a leg hanging and catches Zielinski with a mistimed challenge, leaving the referee with no choice but to reach for his pocket once again.
64' The free-kick is met by Albiol and knocked behind for a corner, which is then whipped into the heart of the penalty area. Reina is able to meet it well though, and he punches the ball away from danger with two strong fists.
L. Insigne
Yellow Card
Napoli
63' Saint-Maximin embarks on a great run as he weaves his way through the middle of the pitch. He then goes down under a challenge from Insigne, and, despite their not being any contact between the two players, wins a free-kick for the visitors in a dangerous position.
61' Mertens goes inches away from making it 2-0! Allan and Callejon link up really well before Mertens is set up by an excellent cut-back from the Spaniard, but the Belgian's first-time shot rolls just wide of the far post after beating Cardinale.
O. Boscagli
M. Sarr
Nice
60' Meanwhile, Nice have replaced Malang Sarr with Olivier Boscagli.
P. Zieliński
M. Hamšík
Napoli
59' Napoli have made their first substitution of the night, with Piotr Zielinski coming on to replace Hamsik.
58' Koziello does really well to muscle his way through the middle of the pitch on a wonderful run. He then sets up Plea to shoot, and the striker, who has seen little of the ball, wins a corner for his side after his 25-yard strike is deflected wide of the goal.
57' Space opens up Hamsik midway inside the Nice half of the pitch and allows him to float a lofted pass into the penalty area. It's uncharacteristically poor, however, and it can only find the hands of Cardinale.
55' A poor attempted clearance by Reina fails to find a team-mate and is easily met by a black shirt. It's quickly worked over to Saint-Maximin, who then whips a low cross into the box, but Albiol is there to deal with the danger at the vital moment.
54' Nice play by Nice sets up Koziello to burst into the Napoli penalty area from a promising position, but his first touch lets him down and ends up knocking the ball into a sky blue shirt.
52' Insigne causes all sorts of problems once again as he skips down the left flank and shoots, but this time his curling effort is well held by Cardinale in the middle of the goal.
50' What a chance for Insigne! Mertens cuts onto his right foot just inside the Nice penalty area before doing well to get a shot away. It should be easily dealt with by Cardinale but is fumbled over to Insigne, who tries to knock the ball into the back of the net from close range but can't make decent contact.
48' Insigne does well to muscle his way past two Nice defenders before shooting, but his low effort is deflected behind for a corner. It's curled in by Ghoulam and sails towards the near post, where Jallet is comfortably able to head the ball away from danger.
46' Early chance for Insigne! The Nice defenders start the second period half asleep and allow a lofted pass forward to find Insigne. The forward immediately pulls off an audacious scissor kick, but it's easily saved by Cardinale before the linesman's flag is raised.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Napoli have almostly totally dominated the game so far, but they only have one goal to show for it. Nice started poorly and have really struggled to deal with the pace and movement of the hosts' front line, but good play on the break by Saint-Maximin will have given them a bit of hope. It's likely to be a tough second half, however, as Napoli will want to head to France with as many goals under their belts as possible.
HALF-TIME: NAPOLI 1-0 NICE
45' + 1' A lofted pass is fired into the left-hand side of the Nice penalty area and manages to find Hamsik in a promising position, but he's quickly closed down by Arnaud Souquet and can't get the better of the defender near to the byline.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
44' Allan is brought crashing to the ground just outside of the Nice box on the right wing, resulting in a free-kick for the hosts in a promising position. Faouzi Ghoulam steps up and shoots, but his curling effort has too much power behind it and sails high over the top of the crossbar.
43' Napoli appeal for a penalty, but nothing is given! A curling corner flies over to the far post and finds Raul Albiol, who immediately nods the ball down towards goal. It seems to strike the hand of Jallet, but, luckily for the Nice defender, the referee awards a free-kick to the visitors for a push by the Spaniard.
42' Great save by Cardinale! Insigne picks up the ball on the left-hand side of the Nice box and quickly unleashes a lovely curling strike. It looks set to find the top right-hand corner of the net, but Cardinale makes sure it doesn't with an excellent diving stop.
41' Saint-Maximin goes close! The Nice number seven has arguably looked the best of his side's players so far, and he's certainly caused the most problems for the home side. He rushes through the middle of the pitch on a great run after he's presented with so much run, and he then unleashes a dangerous low strike that beats Reina before bouncing just wide of the far post.
39' Le Marchand is patched up and ready to go as the game gets underway once again. Napoli quickly push forward as they try to hit Nice on a quick attack, but the visitors have plenty of bodies back to deal with the danger.
37' Ouch! Cardinale rushes out as he tries to deal with a looping ball into the box, but he ends up crashing into Le Marchand and leaves his defender flat out on the floor. It looks as if he's received a nasty cut to the head.
36' Insigne brings down the ball really nicely deep down the left flank and then holds it up as he waits for Hamsik to join him. The winger then spins and finds the midfielder, who quickly shoots but can't hit the target with his slightly scuffed effort.
35' What an opportunity for Vincent Koziello! A brilliant cross-field pass flies over to the right flank and picks out Jallet in space. The wing-back cuts inside quickly and then tees up Koziello, who beats his marker on the edge of the penalty area and fires a low strike just wide of the far post.
34' Vital tackle by Dante! Once again, a Nice attack breaks down and allows Napoli to fly forward. Mertens sprints into the box and looks set to test Cardinale, but just as he's about to, Dante dispossesses the Belgian with an excellent sliding interception.
33' A poor pass from Jean Seri can't find a team-mate and is easily cut out by Insigne. The forward flies down the left channel before setting up Hamsik, who then fires a low cross into the penalty area that's well dealt with by Dante.
31' Insigne is put under pressure over on the left flank and almost concedes possession in a dangerous position, but Koulibaly darts across the pitch to deal with the danger at the vital moment.
29' Hamsik picks out Callejon over on the right-hand side of the Nice penalty area and sets up the Spaniard to cross. He immediately does so with a side-footed pass, but it's one that Dante is just about able to cut out.
27' A rare lapse in concentration from Napoli presents Nice with the opportunity to push forward on a rare attack, but Dante's cross-field pass over to the left wing is poorly hit and sails harmlessly out of play for a throw-in.
25' Mertens twists and turns over on the left-hand side of the Nice box as he tries to get the better of Dante, but it's the Brazilian who comes out on top and pokes the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece is whipped in and finds Mertens, but the forward can't direct his glancing header towards goal.
23' Nice lose possession in the middle of the pitch and allow Napoli to counter quickly, but Mertens can't link up with Hamsik and loses out under pressure from a group of defenders.
21' Almost a spectacular goal by Mertens! The Belgian looks full of confidence, and the Nice defence are really finding it difficult to contain him. He embarks on a wonderful run as he weaves through a sea of black shirts and into the box, where he shoots but, off balance, can't get the better of Cardinale.
20' Napoli patiently pass the ball around on the halfway line before Hamsik lifts a lofted pass over the Nice back line and into the path of Insigne, but it's slightly overhit and fails to cause any problems for Cardinale.
18' It's been a really difficult 18 minutes for Nice, who are struggling to find a way out of their own half of the pitch. Napoli are constantly causing them problems with their impressive movement up front, and Callejon has arguably been the best of the bunch so far.
16' Lovely play by Mertens! A cross into the Nice penalty area isn't fully dealt with by the visitors' defenders and falls to Mertens, who pulls off an audacious overhead kick that bounces agonisingly wide of the far post. Napoli are all over Nice at the moment!
15' Callejon almost makes it 2-0! Another brilliant ball into the box manages to cause all sorts of problems for the Nice defence, but, despite his best efforts, Callejon can't make contact with the cross and Cardinale is just about able to push the ball away from danger.
L. Insigne
Assist
Napoli
13' Insigne's lofted pass through the middle of the pitch was excellently placed, but Cardinale should have done better when trying to deal with it. He left himself in no man's land by rushing out so early.
D. Mertens
Goal
Napoli
13' GOAL! Mertens fires Nice into the lead! A long ball forward from Lorenzo Insigne bounces through the Nice defence and into the path of Mertens. Cardinale rushes out towards the Belgian but completely mistimes his run, allowing the forward to easily round him before slotting the ball into the back of the empty net.
11' A poor attempted header from Maxime Le Marchand can only find Mertens, who then swiftly kick-starts a quick counter-attack. The Belgian immediately tees up Callejon to whip a cross into the box, where it can only find Jallet in front of goal.
10' After a lengthy period on the back foot, Nice are able to push forward on their first decent attack of the game. Allan Saint-Maximin does well to skip past his marker before trying to set up Alassane Plea, but his pass is overhit and rolls safely into the hands of Pepe Reina.
8' Huge chance for Callejon! Dries Mertens is brought down by a high boot from Dante, resulting in a free-kick for Napoli. It's sent short and worked over to Hamsik, who then whips a beautiful ball into the box, but Callejon puts too much power behind his header and sends it a yard or so over the top of the crossbar.
6' The throw-in is quickly sent short before being worked over to Hysaj. The Albanian cuts inside and then decides to unleash a thumping strike from 30 yards, but it's poorly hit and flies well wide of its intended target.
5' More good play by Napoli results in another corner for the home side. It's sent short once again before Callejon fizzes a dangerous pass across the face of goal, but Christophe Jallet is just about able to get a head on the ball to nod it out for a throw-in.
4' Elseid Hysaj gets himself into a good position deep down the right flank before winning Napoli an early corner. It's sent in short by Jose Callejon before a looping header across goal finds Kalidou Koulibaly, who rises high and ends up clattering into Yoan Cardinale.
2' A low cross in from the left flank isn't fully dealt with by the Nice back line, allowing the first chance on goal to fall to Marek Hamsik. The Slovakian charges onto the ball and quickly shoots from 25 yards out, but his thumping strike sails high over the top of the crossbar.
1' We're off! Nice get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Nice boss Lucien Favre has made just one alteration to the team that featured in their last outing, with Bassem Srarfi making way for Christophe Jallet as they switch to a five-man defence.
As expected, Maurizio Sarri has fielded a full-strength and attack-minded Napoli side for tonight’s contest. It’s largely similar to the one that featured in the final league game of last season, with Raul Albiol and Allan coming back into the starting line-up to replace Vlad Chiriches and Piotr Zielinski, respectively.
Nice substitutes: Burner, Walter, Marcel, Makengo, Boscagli, Mahou, Benitez.
Nice XI (5-4-1): Cardinale; Jallet, Souquet, Dante, Le Marchand, Sarr; Lees-Melou, Koziello, Seri, Saint-Maximin; Plea.
Napoli substitutes: Maggio, Zielinski, Chiriches, Sepe, Rog, Diawara, Milik.
Napoli XI (4-3-3): Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Despite doing well to see off Ajax in the third qualifying round, Nice struggled in the Europa League last year and have historically found European games tough to handle. The French side have won just one of their previous 20 European away ties, and this will be just the third time they’ve featured in Europe in the last 20 years.
Nice have never before featured in the group stage of the Champions League, but they did manage to reach the Europa League group stage last season. They’ve already proved themselves to be tricky customers by beating Ajax on away goals in the last round of this competition, but a rough start to the new Ligue 1 season has seen them lose both of their opening games.
Napoli haven’t lost a competitive game since they were knocked out by Madrid - a 12-game run that stretches all the way back to the start of March. They finished the last Serie A campaign with a five-game winning streak and lost just once during their pre-season preparations, although they’re without a victory in their last three home clashes in the Champions League.
Tonight’s game is a battle between two sides that did well to finish in third place in their respective leagues, and it’s brought them together for what should be a fascinating two-legged tie. Napoli, arguably boasting their best team since the latter part of the 1980s, are aiming to get back into the Champions League after exiting at the last-16 round last season, when they lost against eventual winners Real Madrid.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Champions League play-off first leg clash between Napoli and Nice at the Stadio San Paolo.
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