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Brave Zvezda beaten in Naples

Napoli claimed a 3-1 win over a brave Crvena zvezda side on a chilly night in Naples. Dries Mertens' brace put the Napoli side in control after Marek Hamšik had opened the scoring, but Ben Nabouhane gave Zvezda hope with a fine second-half strike.
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Ground: Stadio San Paolo
Attendance: 42,000
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)
Goalscorers: Hamšik 11', Mertens 33', 52' - Ben 57'
 
Napoli: Ospina; Maksimović, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui, Callejon, Allan, Hamšik, Fabian, Insigne, Mertens.
Substitutes: Karnezis, Hysaj, Malcuit, Diawara, Rog, Zielinski, Milik.
 
Crvena zvezda: Borjan, Gobelijić, Degenek, Babić, Rodić, Srnić, Krstičić, Ben, Marin, Simić, Stoiljković.
Substitutes: Popović, Pavkov, Ebecilio, Jonathan Cafu, Joveljić, Jovančić, Sumalia.
 
Vladan Milojević was hit with injury woes ahead of this match as captain Vujadin Savić, striker Richmond Boakye, Branko Jovičić all unavailable through various injuries. Slavoljub Srnić dropped back to central midfield and Marko Gobeljić deputized for the absent Filip Stojković.
 
Backed by the loud away fans, Zvezda players stepped out onto the Stadio San Paolo pitch looking to improve on the previous away matches in this season's Champions League group stage.
 
It didn't start well at all as Napoli Marek Hamšik was left unmarked following a 11th-minute corner and the Slovakian had an easy task to prod home and make it 1-0.
 
Our players tried to play football the right was and they managed to mount a couple of threatening moves, with Marko Marin the main man for the all red-clad Crvena zvezda.
 
Veljko Simić played a great one-two with Marko Marin and was released into a great position to beat David Ospina, but his shot was dealt with.
 
Dries Mertens doubled the lead on 33 minutes as he directed a Fabian Ruiz left-hand side cross with the outside of his right foot and beat Borjan.
 
And it got even worse after the break as Martens got on the end of a perfectly weighted Hamšik pass and blasted into the top corner to make it 3-0 on 52 minutes.
 
But Vladan Milojević's men never gave up and showed great desire to at least score a goal in Italy. And that goal came shortly. Marko Marin again showed some magic touches, exchanged passes with Nenad Krstičić, twisted and turned before threading a perfect pass for Ben to finish into the bottom corner.
 
Crvena zvezda gave it a good go searching for a second goal that would get them back in the game completely, but Napoli held on to claim a 3-1 victory.
 
In the end, there were no points for Zvezda, but plenty of positives indeed. We will host PSG in our final Group C match in the Champions League. There is still plenty to play for!

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