BERLIN (AP) — Giacomo Raspadori scored the only goal of the game as Napoli ground down defense-first Union Berlin to win 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Napoli hadn't had a shot on target all game before Khvicha Kvaratskhelia unlocked the deep, narrow defense of Union with a dribble down the left side to the touchline, where he cut the ball back for Raspadori to score in the 65th minute.
Napoli is second in Group C behind Real Madrid, which won 2-1 at Braga in Tuesday's other game. It was Napoli's second win in all competitions after back-to-back losses to Madrid and Fiorentina before the international break. Union is last in the group with no points.
Defeat further deepened the gloom around Union, which has lost nine games in a row in all competitions as its first-ever Champions League campaign has turned sour, with the team also close to the Bundesliga relegation zone. The team's most notable off-season signing, defender Leonardo Bonucci, was an unused substitute after a run of poor form.
After losing the opening two games of its first season in Europe’s top club competition to added-time goals, Union seemed content to sit deep against Napoli and occasionally threaten on the counter. That made for a dull first half notable mostly for Union fans' celebrations when Janik Haberer put the ball into the net only for it to be disallowed for a clear offside in the buildup by David Datro Fofana.
After Raspadori made the breakthrough, Union had a chance to level when Robin Knoche got his head to Christopher's Trimmel free kick but nodded the ball wide of the post.
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The Associated Press