Napoli stand on the verge of UEFA Champions League history if they can overcome Beşiktaş at Stadio San Paolo next Wednesday.
On both matchdays so far in Group B, Napoli have won and Beşiktaş have drawn. So if Napoli beat the Turkish champions to move on to nine points, and elsewhere Dynamo Kyiv draw with Benfica – giving both those teams two points overall – then Maurizio Sarri’s side would be ensured a round of 16 berth. More than that, the Neapolitans would become the first club to progress from a UEFA Champions League group with three games to spare.
The same feat has been achieved in the UEFA Europa League by Sporting CP in 2011/12; the Lions could subsequently afford to lose two matches and still top their group before reaching the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Napoli qualifying with nine points might make up for their exit in 2013/14, when they finished third in their section on 12 – the first time a team had amassed that many points without actually going through.
- UEFA Champions League group records
AC Milan 1992/93 (reached final)
Paris Saint-Germain 1994/95 (quarter-finals)
Spartak Moskva 1995/96 (quarter-finals)
Barcelona 2002/03 (quarter-finals)
Real Madrid 2011/12 (semi-finals), 2014/15 (semi-finals)
Biggest group margin of victory
11 points: Spartak Moskva (1995/96), Barcelona (2002/03), Real Madrid (2014/15)
Most points achieved without going through
12: Napoli (2013/14), Paris Saint-Germain (1997/98 – came second but were not one of best two runners-up)
Fewest points achieved while going through
6: Zenit (2013/14)
5: AC Milan (1994/95 – two points for a win and two points deducted; won three and
drew one of their six games)