'Magic of Ibrox' - Italian press have their say on Rangers, 'unparalleled audience' and Napoli's 3-0 win

A 3-0 win over Rangers at Ibrox was “another great graduation exam passed” for Napoli.

That was the view of Pasquale Salvione in Corriere Dello Sport after an evening where the Serie A leaders were tested by a positive response from Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men but ultimately demonstrated their quality.

Mattoe Politano scored from the penalty spot after Piotr Zielinski missed twice, before substitutes Raspadori and Tanguy Ndombele added goals two and three.

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It wasn't until James Sands was sent off before the hour mark and a penalty just before 70 minutes when Napoli were able to take complete control after passing up a couple of opportunities in the first half.

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With two key players out for Luciano Spalletti, Salvione thought the win demonstrated the team's depth.

“Two victories in two games and above all another great graduation exam passed in a historic temple of football like that of Rangers,” he wrote. “A penalty from Politano and goals from Raspadori and Ndombele signed the great victory at Ibrox, the one that confirms the depth and the great quality of the Italian team."

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It was revealed the club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis watched the match on his phone at a film event in Rome, while Salvione noted Spalletti opted for the "sword” of Giovanni Simeone for the “battle".

‘Modest runners’

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Napoli impressed in a 3-0 win at Rangers. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Alessandro Barbano, also in Corriere Dello Sport, wrote of “unparalleled audience” which gave Rangers a 12th man, while he reserved special praise for Allan McGregor.

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“You are not in the lead in the Champions League and in the league by chance, after having knocked out Liverpool and Rangers and having scored more goals in Serie A than all, thirteen, and having conceded only four. This is health, that is, athletic condition, technical quality, tactical variety. In the historic Ibrox stadium, against a group of technically modest runners, Napoli has once again shown that they are a cut above their opponent.

“In the meantime, let's enjoy this football show, beautiful enough to amaze, and concrete enough to withstand the pressure of an unparalleled audience, which truly supports the Scots as the extra man.”

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He added: “We close with a note of merit for the Scots goalkeeper, the forty-year-old McGregor who twice forced Zielinski to deal with a subtle, but never completely absorbed, character fragility. The saves of the two penalties are a masterpiece of intuition, but above all a test of psychological strength.”

Gianluca Monti, in Gazzetta, said: “Particular atmosphere between the magic of Ibrox, the absence of the Azzurri fans and the mourning for the death of Queen Elizabeth (commemorated with a choreography from choreography) by virtue of which the hymn of the Champions was played but the British one.”

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The final words can be saved for goalscorer Raspadori.

" It was a beautiful evening and a great victory for us in a beautiful atmosphere," he said. “An environment like this could be intimidating, but we stayed in the game until the end despite some negative episodes and we took home an important victory ".

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