With both sides adopting a 433 formation there was a direct battle between the midfielders; with Napoli’s young and energetic Amadou Diawara, Marek Hamsik and Piotr Zielinski facing up against the proven world-class trio of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric.
Both sides were comfortable on the ball and averaged high pass accuracy; with the Real Madrid threesome averaging a 91% pass accuracy and Maurizio Sarri’s midfield averaging 88%.
The two defensive midfielders in Diawara and Casemiro were exceptional when screening their back fours and stopping any balls going into the feet of Karim Benzema or Dries Mertens.
The Real Madrid trio were afforded more time on the ball, due to the fact that the Napoli wingers were instructed to pick up the opposition full backs as oppose to the midfielders, a virtue which led to both Kroos and Casemiro’s goals.
Although both sides played well, the Real Madrid midfield ultimately came out on top and contributed directly to two of their three successful attempts on goal.