NAPLES, Italy (AP)Like father, like son.
Giovanni Simeone scored two goals as Napoli beat Rangers 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday for a club record 12th consecutive victory in all competitions.
The only other Argentine player to score four goals in his first four matches in the Champions League was Diego Simeone – Giovanni’s father who now manages Atletico Madrid.
”I didn’t know that. It runs in the family then,” Giovanni Simeone said with a laugh when told about the stat. ”I always look to give everything. Today I played really well … (Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti) gave me freedom, he gave me freedom to play how I like, attack the spaces.”
Napoli, which had already qualified for the last 16, remained top of Group A. It was three points ahead of Liverpool, which also progressed to the knockout stage with a 3-0 win at Ajax.
Liverpool hosts Napoli next week in a match to decide the group winner. Liverpool would only finish above Napoli if it wins by four clear goals.
Napoli is also top of Serie A and coach Luciano Spalletti decided to rotate his squad – resting Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has been a revelation this season.
It made little difference and Napoli took the lead in the 11th minute when Simeone controlled Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s ball over the top and fired across into the bottom left corner.
Simeone doubled his tally five minutes later with a diving header to meet Mario Rui’s cross from the left.
Tanguy Ndombele also hit the crossbar in a dominant first half for Napoli.
Napoli did get a third, 10 minutes from time, when Leo �stigard headed in a corner to mark his Champions League debut with a goal.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports