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2016/17 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage

Dynamo Kiev hold Group B leaders Napoli to goalless draw

Napoli failed to open up a lead at the top of Champions League Group B as Dynamo Kiev held them to a goalless draw at the Stadio San Paolo.

The Italians had the benefit of knowing Besiktas and Benfica had shared the spoils in Istanbul earlier, the Turkish champions incredibly fighting back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3.

But Napoli could not break down stubborn Kiev opponents who had lost three of their previous four games and were on their way out of Europe.

Napoli did fashion late chances once substitute Manolo Gabbiadini was thrown into the fray, but there was almost a calamity at the other end when Pepe Reina dropped a cross and relied on his defenders to spare his blushes.

The draw leaves Napoli tied on eight points with Benfica and the sides will meet in the final round of fixtures in Lisbon on Dec. 6. Besiktas are a point further back with their final game away in Kiev.

Napoli started with purpose and Dries Mertens was keen to get behind a Kiev defence which gambled on keeping a high line.

But the final pass kept going awry and the absence of Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik, who sustained a knee injury while on international duty last month, hurt them.

Kiev were content to frustrate and offered few attacking ideas, although Artem Besedin almost profited from Andriy Yarmolenko's near-post cross.

Napoli's promising start was fading fast when Mertens gave Lorenzo Insigne a clear run on goal, but the striker embarrassingly fell over his own feet as defenders furiously back-pedalled.

Marek Hamsik did finally force a save from Artur Rudko but it was no more than a routine stop and Kiev were increasingly comfortable as the first half came to a close.

There was a slight improvement from Napoli after the break with Hamsik's header looping just beyond the far post and Insigne firing straight at Rudko.

The Kiev goalkeeper finally made a genuine save when he pushed aside a powerful effort from Hamsik, but the Napoli players were greeted by a chorus of boos at the final whistle.

UEFA Champions League News