Napoli ease into Champions League group stage

Posted August 25, 2017

They went behind on the night to an Eljero Elia goal but Sergio Escudero headed in a Jesus Navas cross early in the second half for the home side.

Sevilla survived a real scare against Istanbul Basaksehir, progressing 4-3 on aggregate following a nervy 2-2 draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

And it would prove to be a needed goal as Edin Visca got a goal back in the 83rd minute, but Basaksehir could not find another, though Emre Belozoglu cracked the post in stoppage time.

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Eight more goals came calling in a quartet of UEFA Champions League playoff round second legs on Tuesday, as Sevilla, Napoli, Maribor, and Olympiacos joined the Bhoys in the group stage.

That ensured the Greek side a 3-1 aggregate win and a return to the Champions League after they fell at this stage last season.

Olivier Ntcham and Leigh Griffiths scored 2 goals to ensure safe passage for the visitors. Celtic beat Hapoel Beer-Sheva of Israel 5-2 at home in the first leg of the play-offs past year and then wobbled in the return, losing 2-0 to scrape through.

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Having finished third in Serie A last season, Napoli were required to play a set of qualifying matches in order to qualify for Champions League, but ultimately disposed of Nice easily on the night.

Mitja Viler scored the only goal of the night after a cross from the endline deflected out to him to just inside the box, and he lashed home in the 15th minute.

Maribor blanked Hapoel Beer Sheva 1-0 for an aggregate score of 2-2, advancing by virtue of their away goal in the first leg in Israel.

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The remaining five ties will conclude on Wednesday, with the highlight seeing Liverpool take a 2-1 lead into their play-off second leg against Hoffenheim at Anfield.