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Napoli defeats Nice again to reach Champions League group stage

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    Napoli defeats Nice again to reach Champions League group stage

Photo: VALERY HACHE, AFP/Getty Images

Napoli striker Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after scoring during the Champions League playoff football match at Nice, France.
Napoli striker Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after scoring during the Champions League playoff football match at Nice, France.

Photo: VALERY HACHE, AFP/Getty Images

Napoli defeats Nice again to reach Champions League group stage

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

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 field arguing with the fourth official, leaving Nice with 10 men, when Callejon scored.

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

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

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

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

The lineup for Thursday’s group-stage draw will be completed Wednesday.

Barca sues Neymar: Barcelona is suing Neymar for the bonus it paid the Brazilian striker for signing a contract he broke this month to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona said it is demanding that Neymar pay back the $10 million signing bonus it paid him in October in a deal that tied him to the club through 2021.

In its lawsuit, Barcelona is demanding that PSG pay the money if Neymar cannot do so.

In a statement, PSG responded to the demand by saying it was “surprised to learn of FC Barcelona’s statement today announcing the start of legal proceedings in Spain against its former player Neymar Jr. and indicating that should Neymar Jr. fail to pay the monies claimed by his former club, Paris Saint-Germain will be held responsible to pay the outstanding sum.

“Paris Saint-Germain reiterates that, like Neymar Jr., it has always respected all applicable laws and rules in its dealings and, once again, regrets the attitude of FC Barcelona.” Barcelona said the suit was filed Aug. 11.

Sidelined: D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum will miss an MLS game Wednesday against Atlanta United because of a concussion suffered Saturday, his team said. D.C. United midfielder Patrick Nyarko is out indefinitely with issues resulting from his seventh concussion since 2008.

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