Napoli beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history – and making it three Italian teams in the final eight.
Victor Osimhen continued his fine scoring record with a goal in each half and Piotr Zielinski converted a penalty in the second half as Napoli advanced 5-0 on aggregate.
It is the first time since 2006 that three Italian teams have progressed to the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.
There are no further restrictions on teams from the same country facing each other so Napoli could be pitted against Inter Milan or AC Milan when the draw is made on Friday.
The other teams in the final eight are Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Trouble in the streets of the city between supporters marred the evening but on the pitch it was one-way traffic as a Piotr Zielinski penalty sealed victory for the Serie A leaders.
Napoli were always favourites to advance after a good win in Germany and Osimhen’s fine header on the stroke of half-time sent them on their way.
A close-range finish after the restart all-but secured safe passage before Zielinksi won and scored a spot-kick.
Opta stats: A historic night for Napoli…
- Napoli have qualified for the quarter-finals of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.
- Napoli’s win tonight marks the joint-biggest aggregate victory by an Italian team in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, along with Juventus 5-0 Celtic in 2012-13, and Milan 5-0 Intern in 2004-05 (one of those legs was an awarded victory to Milan).
- Following Napoli’s progression, and along with Intern and Milan, this is the first time that as many as three Italian teams have qualified for the quarter-finals in a UEFA Champions League campaign since 2005-06 (Inter, Milan and Juventus).
- Napoli have scored more goals in the UEFA Champions League than any other team this season (25) – indeed, only three Italian sides have ever netted more in a single campaign in the competition (Juventus 30 in 2002-03, Inter 26 in 2002-03 and Lazio 26 in 1999-00).
- Victor Osimhen became the first Napoli player to score in both legs of a UEFA Champions League knockout stage tie, while his brace in this game was the first scored by a Nigerian player in the knockout stages of the competition.
- Among all players within the big five European leagues, only Marcus Rashford (15) has scored more goals across all competitions in 2023 than Napoli’s Victor Osihmen (13).
- Eintracht Frankfurt lost both legs of a knockout stage tie in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the first time, while two of their five defeats across the two competitions have now been against Napoli.
When is the draw?
The draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals take place at 11am UK time on Friday, March 17 in Nyon, Switzerland at UEFA’s headquarters.
The eight last-16 winners are involved in an open quarter-final and semi-final draw.
There are no seedings and no country protection, so clubs can face opposition from the same country. They can also draw teams they previously played in the group stage.
A final draw will also take place to determine the ‘home’ side for administrative reasons for the showpiece event in Istanbul, Turkey on June 10.
You can follow the draw with Sky Sports’ live blog, so you can keep across everything right here.