Union Berlin mustered a hard-fought point against Napoli in the UEFA Champions League group stages, as David Fofana helped the Germans escape the Partenopei’s clutches after Matteo Politano’s opener. Juventus icon Leonardo Bonucci was key in keeping the hosts at bay, with Berlin avoiding a defeat for the first time in 13 games across all competitions, having lost 12 games in a row since beating Darmstadt in August.
Bonucci spoke to the press following the draw, due to which Napoli failed to win three consecutive home games in the UCL for the first time since 2017.
“We knew that we had to do something more. And something had already changed in training. We must not be satisfied because on Saturday there will be another important match against Leverkusen, and we will have to do very well especially on a defensive level.” (via Tuttomercatoweb)
Bonucci thinks Union have what it takes to upset bigger teams.
“This must be an important building block. It felt like we were living a nightmare. We conceded an unfortunate goal even though Napoli were pressing and pushing. Then there was a great reaction in the second half. We knew we could counter and hurt Napoli. This way of playing rewarded us. We’re starting to get to know each other better. I’m the one who has to adapt to their way of playing.”
Bonucci was full of praise for Giacomo Raspadori, who was kept quiet for the first time in four games.
“The coach asks us to work man against man. I had Raspadori and he made me run everywhere. Jack is a great striker. He has everything, and I’ve been saying for a few years already. He has a great future ahead of him. Napoli have devastating players up front and in the one-two combinations, and tonight we were good at closing the passing lines. Our goalkeeper took care of the rest.”
Union sit at the bottom of Group C alongside Braga, with Napoli the closest to rivaling Real Madrid in the top spot.
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