UCL: Real Madrid survives early scare thanks to Ramos

AP Photo/Andrew Medichin
  • Napoli scores early
  • Ronaldo, Mertens hit posts
  • Ramos puts it to bed
  • Morata adds stoppage time goal
  • Sergio Ramos scored a pair of second half headers to help overcome Napoli’s early comeback effort and lead reigning champions Real Madrid into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday at the Stadio San Paolo.

    Dries Mertens had given Napoli a 1-0 lead to bring the Serie A side to within a goal of advancing, but Ramos’ double restored order as Real won the leg 3-1 and the tie 6-2.

    Alvaro Morata scored the third Real Madrid goal.

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    Mertens’ terrific run was met in class by Marek Hamsik’s deft pass, and Napoli had edged to within one on aggregate.

    Cristiano Ronaldo almost had an immediate answer for the visitors, but he slammed a shot off the post.

    Mertens hit a post himself before the end of the half.

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    Ramos then did what he tends to do in seemingly every big game, coming up from the back to bury a goal. The soon-to-be 31-year-old headed Toni Kroos’ cross home to make it 4-2 on aggregate in the 51st minute.

    Ramos added another with a header off a corner six minutes later to put it away.