By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor
Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The visitors took the lead after Keylor Navas was caught off guard by a superb Lorenzo Insigne strike inside eight minutes.
Karim Benzema headed the equaliser past Pepe Reina from Dani Carvajal’s cross 11 minutes later.
Toni Kroos put the hosts ahead early in the second half, before a stunning volley from Casemiro sealed the win.
Napoli will host the second leg on 7 March, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
Cristiano Ronaldo has now gone 523 minutes without a Champions League goal – his longest drought in the competition at Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old missed a golden opportunity midway through the first half to give Real a 2-1 lead, but he blasted his shot over the bar from 12 yards out.
Ronaldo’s performance was far from selfish and he was lively from the off. He created a chance after just 23 seconds with his darting run finding Benzema, who forced a one-handed save from Reina.
Although Ronaldo failed to hit the target during the game, his hard work paid off when he pulled the ball back to Kroos to give the hosts the lead early in the second half.
That makes it five assists in seven Champions League appearances this season – his most in a season in the competition for Real Madrid.