Napoli have a huge, crucial, important 1-0 lead in their Champions League match against Benfica, a lead that could see them win the group if they maintain it. That goal comes via Jose Callejon, thanks to a wonderful assist from Dries Mertens.
GOAL Callejon!! Benfica 0-1 Napoli #ChampionsLeague pic.twitter.com/mPsaAyUtj0— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) December 6, 2016
The finish from Callejon is excellent, weighted perfectly as he lofted his shot over Benfica goalkeeper Ederson. It was a nice feather in Callejon’s cap, who was enjoying a fantastic performance as perhaps the best player on the pitch on the day.
The real highlight, though, is the understated but phenomenal assist from Dries Mertens. You don’t get a great look at it from that highlight — sadly, no one has shown it that well — but Mertens completely fakes out the Benfica defense by making it look like he’s going to receive a pass and make a wide looping run on the ball to feed Callejon once he gets to the edge of the box. It was a play Napoli had used before in the match to great effect, so Benfica set up to defend that — only for Mertens to make a wonderfully subtle and perfectly weighted flick to set Callejon free on goal.
The goal has Napoli sitting atop the group if the result holds, and with Dynamo Kyiv lambasting nine-man Besiktas 5-0 as of the time of writing, there’s little reason to think that Napoli won’t be in the Champions League round of 16. Not bad. Not bad at all.