Napoli hoping for ‘perennial luck’ in Champions League, Chelsea hoping for miracle

Napoli hoping for ‘perennial luck’ in Champions League, Chelsea hoping for miracle

Nightly fireworks in Naples

AC Milan normally travels to Naples on the day of the (league) match, but UEFA requires teams to be present already on the eve of a game. And the players knew it.

From 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m., there was a buzz around Hotel Vesuvio, where Milan spent the night. Speeches, fireworks, the Napoli fans made it a big party. Milan was prepared for it, so the players were housed in rooms at the back of the hotel.

Mud fight between Real and Barcelona knows no bounds

Barcelona president Joan Laporta yesterday took aim at Real Madrid, which has also gotten involved, saying, among other things, that the Madrid rival has been the regime’s team for decades.

Real answered that suggestion with a video on social media, combining footage of Laporta’s speech with archival footage meant to show the Franco regime’s connection with Barcelona.

Real coach Ancelotti guards against underestimation

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has warned his players to remain wary against Chelsea. The Spaniards are defending a 2-0 lead against the English club, which has not won the past three duels under interim coach Frank Lampard. According to Ancelotti, the match against Real Madrid is a great opportunity for Chelsea to ensure a turnaround.

“We are aware of this and certainly have to take it into account,” Ancelotti said. “We are in shape and motivated as always. These are important matches and we have to be there tomorrow. There are ninety minutes to go and anything can happen. We have to play our best game.”

Last season, despite a 3-1 lead after the first game, Real Madrid also had to go deep to reach the semifinals. Chelsea won the second game 3-2 and made things difficult for Real Madrid. “We certainly don’t think it’s going to be easy. I have a lot of experience in this league and know what can happen in soccer. But we want less hassle than last season,” Ancelotti said.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti during press conference

Pioli wants to read, Spalletti hopes for everlasting happiness

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli and his Napoli colleague Luciano Spalletti looked ahead to the return game in Naples yesterday during press conferences, with Milan defending a 1-0 lead.

According to Pioli – who recently lost 4-0 to Serie A superpower Napoli in the league – it is important to “read” matches against the Neapolitans.

Spalletti said that Napoli, who are in the quarter-finals for the first time, have nothing to lose: “There is no risk tonight. We only run a risk of perpetual happiness. Because we’ve never come this far before. And if we win, we will get even further.”

Milan coach Pioli: ‘Sure we take into account qualities Napoli’

Chelsea coach Lampard hopes for twelfth man against Real: ‘Atmosphere will be great’

Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s current coach, is not to be envied. He recently took over from Graham Potter and then lost three games in a row. Including the first game in the Champions League quarterfinals against Real Madrid.

“We’re not where we want to be,” observed former Chelsea player. “But I think the word broken is rather exaggerated. Where we are now in the league is the reality and in the Champions League we are 2-0 behind. We have to try to do something about that. I’ve been here many times on a Champions League night. The atmosphere will be great. Hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

Chelsea coach Lampard hopes for twelfth man against Real: ‘Atmosphere will be great’

Napoli counts on top scorer Osimhen in Italian clash: ‘He has so many options’

Tonight against AC Milan, Napoli must see off the 1-0 defeat of a week ago. That does not look like an impossible task. Only one goal difference after all. In a home match, moreover. But above all: Victor Osimhen is back!

Because the Nigerian goalgetter was sorely missed in recent weeks. An upper leg injury cost him almost three entire league matches, in which the sovereign leader in Serie A promptly lost four points. Last Saturday he made his comeback against Hellas Verona a quarter of an hour before time, but his shot against the crossbar did not change the 0-0 scoreboard after the final whistle.

Victor Osimhen balks

Welcome to the Champions League!

Die Meister, Die Besten, The Champions‘, is how the Champions League anthem will once again blare through the stadiums in London and Naples at 9 p.m., full of bombast.

Two returns in the quarter-finals are scheduled tonight. Chelsea must try to make up a 2-0 deficit at home against defending champion Real Madrid, Napoli lost 1-0 at AC Milan last week and so will have to win tonight as well.

With this liveblog we will keep you updated on all developments throughout the evening.

Kayleigh Williams