Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Napoli in Champions League group stage

Published:Wednesday | August 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Nice’s Jean Michael Seri (left) and Napoli’s Dries Mertens vie for the ball during a Champions League play-off round, second-leg match in Nice, France yesterday.

LONDON, England, (AP):

Napoli produced their second 2-0 victory over Nice in a week to reach the Champions League group stage for a second successive season yesterday.

Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne scored in the second half to secure Napoli's 4-0 aggregate win in the French Riviera, where Nice fans booed Mario Balotelli when their striker was substituted. The Italian had been off the pitch arguing with the fourth official, leaving Nice with 10 men, when Callejon scored.

Only one side in action yesterday was eliminated after winning the first leg. Hapoel Be'er Sheva's 2-1 advantage over Maribor was wiped out by the Slovenian side winning the second leg 1-0 at home to go through 2-2 on away goals.

Celtic held a 5-0 lead over Astana, but the Scottish champions were given a scare in Kazakhstan, where they lost 4-3 but still advanced 8-4 on aggregate.

Sevilla are through to the group stage for a third successive season after drawing 2-2 with competition newcomers Istanbul Basaksehir to advance 4-3 on aggregate.

Rijeka's first Champions League campaign in 18 years is over after Olympiakos built on their 2-1 first leg success by winning 1-0 in Croatia. The Greek side will contest the group stage for the 18th time.

The line-up for Thursday's group-stage draw will be completed today.