Dries Mertens scored twice as Napoli came from behind to begin their UEFA Europa League Group I campaign with a 3-1 win over Sparta Prague.
The Serie A side had fallen behind to Josef Husbauer's early opener but a Gonzalo Higuain penalty pulled them level at the break before the Belgian striker took control in the second half.
The win will have come as some relief to Napoli, who had slipped to a surprise home defeat to Chievo in the domestic league on Sunday.
Meanwhile, defeat for the visitors brought...
The heat is on Rafael Benitez as Napoli prepare to make their bow in this season's Europa League on Thursday night, still reeling from their Champions League exit and 1-0 defeat at home to Chievo at the weekend.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Benitez was reminded of the fact that the Azzurri have made their worst start to a season in four years. He announced that changes will be made to his side for the game with Sparta Prague, but that he has good experience of squad rotation.
Saturday night at the Bernabeu was a study in contrast. Atletico manager Diego Simeone -- who was banned from the sideline -- paced around a skybox like some kind of caged, yet ecstatic, wild animal.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti stood on the sideline with his usual hangdog expression and looked like those cartoon characters with a cloud above their head, following him around everywhere, liberally dispensing lightning and rain.
Atletico's 2-1 win marked the first time ever that they had...
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has said both he and his players must learn their lessons from the 1-0 home defeat to Chievo Verona on Sunday.
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Gonzalo Higuain saw a penalty saved as Napoli struggled against one of Serie A's smallest clubs -- the kind of opponents they know they need to beat if they are to challenge for the title.
"It's hard to explain a defeat like this one," Benitez told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We just lacked a goal.