Borussia Dortmund vs. Napoli: Final score 3-1, Group F is a mess

Stuart Franklin

Napoli will lose the head-to-head battle with Borussia Dortmund if they finish level on points, but they're not out yet.

Borussia Dortmund are in good shape in the UEFA Champions League after their victory on Tuesday, but the picture in Group F is still a foggy one. Der BVB have gotten the better of Napoli both on the night and on aggregate, defeating their visitors 3-1 to beat them by one goal on aggregate in the group.

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Federico Fernandez gifted Dortmund an early goal by giving away a penalty just nine minutes in. On a Dortmund corner kick, he wrapped his arms around Robert Lewandowski and held on for what felt like nearly five seconds as the Dortmund striker tried to get away. The referee spotted it and gave a penalty, which Marco Reus converted.

The rest of the first half featured some decent chances for both sides, but no more goals. Lewandowski missed a great opportunity in the 14th minute, placing his effort just wide off a Henrikh Mkhitaryan pass that deserved a finish. Jose Maria Callejon had Napoli's best chance of the first half in the 29th minute, hitting the post from close range.

Dortmund were well on top early in the second half and eventually saw their advantage pay off around the hour mark, though not before Gonzalo Higuain was denied from 12 yards by Roman Weidenfeller. On a counter shortly after that chance, Reus set up Jakub Blaszczykowski for a close-range finish with a square ball that eluded the Napoli defense.

Lorenzo Insigne was introduced by Rafa Benitez in the 66th minute and it only took him five minutes to have a massive impact on the game and Napoli's hopes of qualifying for the knockout round. He got on the end of a pass by Higuain and placed a shot around the on-rushing Weidenfeller, squeaking his effort in at the back post to pull his team within one goal and tie the two teams on aggregate score and away goals head-to-head.

Unfortunately for Napoli, that tie didn't last long. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had come on for Dortmund just before Insigne's goal and fired his team back in front on aggregate long afterwards. Pepe Reina came up with a huge save to deny Aubameyang in the 73rd minute, but there was nothing he could do five minutes later when the Gabonese striker ran onto a through ball from Lewandowski and finished between the Napoli keeper's legs.

On the final matchday, if Dortmund beats Marseille and Napoli defeats Arsenal by a three-goal margin, the three teams in Group F will be inseparable by the first four tiebreaking measures. If that happens, the two teams that advance will be decided by goal differential in the games between the three teams, discounting results against Marseille.

Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Grosskreutz, Bender, Papastathopoulos, Durm, Kehl, Sahin, Reus (Piszczek 81'), Mkhitaryan, Blaszczykowski (Aubameyang 69'), Lewandowski (Scheiber 89')

Goals: Reus (penalty 10'), Blaszczykowski (60'), Aubameyang (78')

Napoli: Reina, Armero, Fernandez, Albiol, Maggio, Dzemaili (Inler 62'), Behrami, Callejon (Insigne 66'), Pandev (Zapata 76'), Mertens, Higuain

Goals: Insigne (71')

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