A Gonzalo Higuain-inspired Napoli survived a late fight-back from 10-man Borussia Dortmund to get their Champions League campaign off to a winning start.
A headed opener from Higuain gave Napoli the lead before Roman Weidenfeller was sent off for handling outside the box.
Lorenzo Insigne doubled the hosts’ advantage with an exceptional, curled free-kick from 25 yards before Christian Zuniga’s bizarre own goal gave Dortmund hope of completing an unlikely turnaround. However, the Serie A side held on for the victory.
Higuain's goal saw Jurgen Klopp sent to the stands, as the Dortmund coach protested over the quick corner kick that led to Napoli finding the net.
And a dismal first half only got worse for Dortmund, as keeper Weidenfeller was shown a straight red card for handling outside the box with Higuain racing through on goal.
Napoli doubled their lead mid-way through the second half, when Insigne curled a magnificent right-footed free-kick beyond substitute keeper Mitchell Langerak from 25 yards.
Despite introducing speedster Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang in an attempt to claw back the deficit the game looked beyond Dortmund until a bizarre own goal by Zuniga late in the game gave the Germans some hope of staging an unlikely comeback with only minutes remaining - but Napoli held on.
28’ - GOAL: Gonzalo Higuain directed Christian Zuniga’s dangerous cross into the bottom corner to give Napoli a 1-0 lead.
29’ - KLOPP DISMISSED: The Borussia Dortmund coach was sent to the stands for furiously protesting the quick corner kick that led to Higuain’s opener.
44’ - WEIDENFELLER SENT OFF: Things went from bad to worse for Dortmund as their keeper was shown a straight red for handling outside the area as Higuain raced through on goal.
66’ - GOAL: Napoli doubled their advantage through Insigne, after the attacking midfielder whipped a wonderful free-kick from 25 yards high into the net.
87’ - GOAL: Against all odds Dortmund dragged themselves back into the game with just minutes remaining, as Zuniga turned into his own net from Marco Reus’s low, driven cross.
89’ - REINA SAVE: The former Liverpool keeper had to be in top form to save from Reus’ free-kick, preserving his side’s 2-1 lead an ultimately the victory.
Match possession: Napoli 59%, Borussia Dortmund 41%
Napoli remain unbeaten at home in the Champions League, having won five and drawn three from eight games.
Up until the win over Dortmund, striker Jose Callejon had scored seven goals in seven Champions League appearances.
TALKING POINT: Are Napoli this season’s Borussia Dortmund? By marching all the way to the final on the back of a swaggering style of attacking play Jurgen Klopp’s side took Europe somewhat by surprise. Considering their summer signings and display tonight, is there a chance Napoli could do the same thing this season?
MAN OF THE MATCH
Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli): The Italy international exploited Dortmund’s weakness on the right side of defence, linking well with Gokhan Inler and Gonzalo Higuain throughout the game. His magnificent free-kick capped an impressive display of creativity and imagination.
Napoli: Reina 7, Maggio 6, Albiol 6, Britos 5, Zuniga 7, Inler 8, Behrami 6, Callejon 5, Hamsik 6, Insigne 8, Higuain 8. Subs: Mertens 6.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller 3, Grosskreutz 4, Subotic 7, Hummels 4, Schmelzer 5, Bender 5, Sahin 7, Blaszczykowski 4, Mkhitaryan 5, Reus 5, Lewandowski 5. Subs: Langerak 5, Aubameyang 5.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET