Napoli ease to victory over Rangers, make club history

Napoli strolled to a 3-0 win over Rangers in the Champions League on Wednesday to set a club record of 12 consecutive victories in all competitions.

Argentine striker Giovanni Simeone scored twice in the first half to put Napoli well in charge against the Scottish side at the Stadio Diego Maradona while Norwegian defender Leo Ostigard extended the lead with a thumping header from a corner in the 80th minute.

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The result saw Napoli surpass their previous longest run of consecutive wins stretching back to 1986, when Maradona was their talisman.

Napoli, who had already qualified for the knockout stage, lead Group A with 15 points from five matches, three ahead of second-placed Liverpool, whom they visit next week in their final group game.

Napoli will finish top of the group as long as they avoid defeat at Anfield by three goals or more.

Rangers, who were already eliminated, are bottom with no points and will also miss out on the Europa League unless they can beat Ajax Amsterdam, in third on three points, by at least five goals when they host the Dutch side, who were thrashed 3-0 at home to Liverpool.

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti praised his team after overseeing yet another win despite making six changes to the team who beat AS Roma 1-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

"The extraordinary thing is when you don't use a player for two games he gets a bit irritated and loses a bit of sharpness but this group do not do that. They train like top players and confirm they want to fight for their place."

Spalletti said he expected an exciting final match against Liverpool despite both teams already qualifying for the last 16.

"There is a great deal at stake in the next game, because Liverpool are very tough at home. A spectacle is guaranteed," he added.

Striker Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego, was one of the beneficiaries of Spalletti's squad rotation and opened the scoring in the 11th minute by running behind the defence and slotting into the far corner of the net.

He struck again in the 16th with a header while midfielder Tanguy Ndombele almost added a third midway through the first half with a venomous shot from outside the area which rattled the crossbar.

Napoli dropped their intensity in the second half but still increased their lead through Ostigard's header, ensuring they replicated the 3-0 scoreline from their previous match with Rangers at Ibrox in September.

It was the team's 20th goal in five Champions League matches, more than any other side in this season's competition.