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Champions League scores: Real Madrid eliminate Liverpool, Napoli cruise to the quarterfinals over Frankfurt

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The final eight in Champions League is now set with Napoli rolling over Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 (5-0 on aggregate) and Real Madrid, who didn't need much to advance, seeing off Liverpool 1-0 (6-2 on aggregate). For a Napoli side running away with Serie A, they got a chance to flex their muscles on the continental stage behind a Victor Osimhen brace. Also keeping a clean sheet, Napoli's defense was strong yet again holding Frankfurt to only five shots during the entire match.

Real Madrid started off the match fast but it took until the 79th minute for Karim Benzema to finally find the back of the net. But with Luka Modric patrolling the midfield, even when Liverpool had their moments attacking, Los Blancos always seemed in control as all focus is on repeating as champions of the competition.

The final eight teams are: Benfica, Chelsea, Inter, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Napoli, and Manchester City.

Craving more soccer coverage? Listen below and follow House of Champions, a CBS Sports soccer podcast, bringing you top-notch analysis, commentary, picks and more. 

Can Real Madrid defend their title?

Rolling past Liverpool, Real Madrid showed that they're still a team to be feared but comparing Real to other teams remaining in the competition, they have a gauntlet in order to repeat. This team have run hot and cold over the season which is why they're trailing Barcelona by nine points in the league heading into El Clasico on Sunday. Generally, this would be unacceptable to Real Madrid but with players that the team have ost like Casemiro, a step back was expected.

It's important to note that while Real Madrid won the tie over Liverpool by four goals, this is also a Reds side that have struggled in the league losing eight matches when they were supposed to be title contenders. A turnover is needed in defense and the midfield for Jurgen Klopp's side but with the stars that they have, Real Madrid can win but they need to be perfect to do it. 

It could be the last ride for Benzema, Modric, and Toni Kroos which is an intangible that should be taken into account but with the teams that are left, intangibles won't be enough. 

Napoli are looking to break into the conversation with the contenders and if Osimhen can continue his current pace, it's certainly possible. With 23 goals in all competitions despite only featuring in 28 matches, the Nigerian is quickly establishing himself as one of the top strikers in the world and one of the few within touching distance of Erling Haaland still within Champions League play. With a strong support system around him, if the draw is kind, Napoli can make some more noise but the team still needs to prove themself against top opposition.

Manchester City could be their kryptonite due to their strength in possession and flexibility when faced with difficult challenges but in the business end of Champions League, anyone could win. Chelsea are finding ways to score and have one of the best defenses in the completion. Benfica are in the same boat as Napoli as they have impressive performances but they need to prove themselves against a team like Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich are moving along quietly but they can't be denied. Even the Milan duo can pull out wins on their day.

For Real Madrid to defend their title, they'd need to go through quite a collection of teams and some of the magic that helped them win last season hasn't been there so far this season but this is a group of teams that are more than worthy of competing for the crown.

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Wednesday's scores

  • Napoli 3, Frankfurt 0 (2H)
  • Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 0 (2H)
March 15, 2023, 7:37 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 3:37 pm EDT
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Napoli and Real Madrid advance

Strikers led their squads to victory as the teams who were leading coming into the tie kept their advantages. Real Madrid showed that not only can their attack win Champions League but that their defense should be feared too while Napoli are legit contenders for a Champions League title behind the duo of Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

March 15, 2023, 9:56 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:56 pm EDT
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Liverpool had hope but Benzema dashed it

While Vini Jr had the chance to put Real ahead, Benzema wasn't going to miss twice as Liverpool now need four goals to force extra time. 

March 15, 2023, 9:40 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:40 pm EDT
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Unlucky for Real Madrid

Benzema makes his shot nine times out of 10 but just shaved the top of the crossbar and things are still level in the 70th minute. But with the clock only in favor of Real Madrid, this is more than fine.

March 15, 2023, 9:31 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:31 pm EDT
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A penalty for Napoli 

Based on their struggles taking penalties, it's a committee approach as Zielinski drives it home after being the man who was fouled.

March 15, 2023, 9:23 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:23 pm EDT
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Another big save from Kevin Trapp

Napoli are up 2-0 and this could be worse if not for the keeper. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia drove inside and stung his palms as Napoli wants a third goal.

March 15, 2023, 9:21 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:21 pm EDT
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Truly, who can stop Napoli

March 15, 2023, 9:19 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:19 pm EDT
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Napoli can't be stopped

Osimhen laid his body on the line to knock the ball over and he may end up leaving the match as a precaution but his job is done with Napoli ahead 2-0.

March 15, 2023, 9:14 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:14 pm EDT
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Saved by the flag

Real Madrid are close to grabbing a goal but Vini Jr. was judged to be offside before playing Benzema in.

March 15, 2023, 9:12 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:12 pm EDT
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Gakpo is close again

Jurgen Klopp's halftime instructions seem pretty clear to Liverpool, just score quickly and score some more. But they'll also have to prevent Real Madrid from getting a goal as their midfield continues to boss the game.

March 15, 2023, 9:08 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:08 pm EDT
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Reaching the half

While Napoli has scored and Real Madrid are in search of a goal, things are as expected heading into the matches with Real Madrid and Napoli advancing if things end as is. Desperation may set in for the Reds in the second half as they need a goal sooner than later but if Real Madrid are the team to score, both matches could be done and dusted before the 60th minute. 

March 15, 2023, 9:02 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 5:02 pm EDT
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Hitting 50 in style

March 15, 2023, 8:55 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:55 pm EDT
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Napoli end the half with a goal

Who else but Osimhen from close range as his header can't be stopped by Trapp. Napoli continue their dominance to ensure that they enter the half ahead.

March 15, 2023, 8:53 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:53 pm EDT
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Checking in on Napoli

Despite holding 61 percent of possession and firing three shots on target, the match is still level 0-0 but considering that Napoli doesn't need a goal, all is well at the moment.

March 15, 2023, 8:41 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:41 pm EDT
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Gakpo with Liverpool's best chance so far

Forcing Rela into a save Gakpo drew a corner kick but it was dealt with comfortably by Real Madrid.

March 15, 2023, 8:37 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:37 pm EDT
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End to end stuff in Liverpool vs. Real Madrid 

Five shots on target between the two teams as they've combined for .9 xG. Real Madrid has had the better chances but if they don't score soon, Liverpool could nab a goal as well.

March 15, 2023, 8:35 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:35 pm EDT
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24 mintues in

Real Madrid haven't scored yet but Alisson has had to make three saves already with the defense blocking their other two shots so far in the match. Nervy start to things.

March 15, 2023, 8:27 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:27 pm EDT
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Real does the crossbar challenge 

Eduardo Camavinga stung a ball from outside the box that Alisson was just able to tip onto the post making a great save but it's still all Real Madrid.

March 15, 2023, 8:22 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:22 pm EDT
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Close for Napoli!

Victor Osimhen got free but Kevin Trapp made a strong save to deny him from opening the scoring.

March 15, 2023, 8:17 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:17 pm EDT
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Real are off to a quick start

Pressing Liverpool out of the gate and dominating possession there may be a goal coming soon in the match. 

March 15, 2023, 8:15 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 4:15 pm EDT
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Almost time to get underway

Liverpool and Frankfurt will need first starts but even that may not be enough to overturn things.

March 15, 2023, 7:57 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 3:57 pm EDT
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Clashes in Naples

There have been clashes between supporters of Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt supporters, as you can see in the video embedded below.

Eintracht Frankfurt fans had been barred from the second leg fixture after issues in the first game but that has not stopped some from making the journey to Naples. A police car has been set on fire whilst flares were set off. 

March 15, 2023, 6:24 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 2:24 pm EDT
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What's happening in Naples

Crazy scenes in Naples. From this afternoon there were some clashes between Napoli, Eintracht fans and the police outside the stadium few hours before the kick-off. The away fans were not permitted to follow the team, as they were banned by the Italian authorities due to the historical rivalry between the two ultras groups. However, the German ultras came to Naples despite the ban and were also joined by representatives of Atalanta's ultras group, that are also close to the Eintracht's ultras. A bus carrying a group of Eintracht fans was hit by a barrage of fireworks and other objects. Some German 'ultra's dressed in black with their faces covered threw glass bottles at a closed bar in the city's Piazza Bellini. The tension escalated into a fight between the police and the German ultras, who came in contact and tear gas was thrown to them. Video footage also showed that a police car was set into a fire. The German ultras were later on convoyed to the hotel where they will be watching the game. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin on Tuesday criticized the decision to stop Frankfurt residents attending the match and and threatened to move games away from clubs' home grounds if away fans are banned in future.

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Predicted XIs

Here's who our Jonathan Johnson is expecting to start tonight, you can find out why by clicking the link here:

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Jota, Nunez; Gakpo.

March 15, 2023, 5:49 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 1:49 pm EDT
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Mission Impossible for Liverpool?

Perhaps not. After all we've already seen Liverpool overturn a three goal deficit in this competition, sending Barcelona tumbling out of the 2019 Champions League semifinals on a thrilling night at Anfield. This task might be all the tougher however for reasons beyond the fact that they are on the road for the second leg. By that time Lionel Messi and company had become ripe for collapses in this competition; Madrid meanwhile won last year on the back of the sort of implausible comeback the Reds need tonight.

No wonder Klopp isn't giving his side much of a chance of winning. "Three weeks later, there is a game to play and if there is even a one percent chance, I would like to give it a try," said the Liverpool manager. "We are here to play an extremely strong opponent and to try to win the game and as difficult as it is – not likely – we are going to see where it leads us."

March 15, 2023, 5:29 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 1:29 pm EDT
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Hello and welcome

In theory, today should see Real Madrid and Napoli advance as both teams have multiple goal leads coming into the second leg of their matches but Champions League has taught us to expect the unexpected. Liverpool can score with the best teams in the world while Real Madrid have been prone to collapses and despite Napoli winning with ease this season, Frankfurt enjoys being a surprise package against the odds during European play. Tune in as we have updates on all the matches today!

March 15, 2023, 4:07 PM
Mar. 15, 2023, 12:07 pm EDT