Napoli kicked off their 2013-14 UEFA Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win over last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
The Italians opened the scoring early on as Gonzalo Higuain nodded an inswinging cross home, and the hosts' task was made infinitely easier just before half-time as Mats Hummels departed injured and Roman Weidenfeller inexplicably handled outside the box to earn himself a red card.
Dortmund's threat was significantly blunted by those blows - allied to Jurgen Klopp's dismissal to the stands - and they were helpless to prevent a fantastic long-rang free-kick from Lorenzo Insigne doubling Napoli's lead.
But there was time for the 10-man Germans to grab a late consolation when Juan Camilo Zuniga flicked a cross into his own net with five minutes of normal time remaining.
With no injury worries of note among his squad, Rafael Benitez named a strong, attacking line-up including the likes of Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon. The visitors, meanwhile, named a patched-up starting XI due to the absences of Ilkay Gundogan, Lukasz Piszczek and Sebastian Kehl.
Despite the makeshift nature of Klopp's team, Dortmund undoubtedly made the better start in Naples. But the hosts responded in kind, with a five-minute spell of pressure leading to Insigne driving narrowly wide before Higuain was denied a one-on-one chance by a brilliant Hummels tackle.
The topsy-turvy nature of the first half did not let up, with Lewandowski the recipient of the next clear opportunity. The Pole latch onto a fabulous throughball to sneak into the box but could not beat the sprawling Pepe Reina in the Napoli goal.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, last year's Champions League runners-up were punished for that miss in the very next attack. Zuniga picked the ball up on the left-hand side before swinging in an inch-perfect cross that Higuain nonchalantly headed to the far corner of the goal to the send the home crowd into raptures.
On the touchline, Dortmund coach Klopp remonstrated angrily with the fourth official over his failure to allow Neven Subotic back onto the pitch following a head injury, but his rant only served to bring him a red card.
Dortmund responded in bullish fashion when they received a further blow just before half-time, replacing injured centre-back Hummels with forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But things went from bad to worse seconds later as goalkeeper Weidenfeller rushed out of his box to meet the ball but could only handle to prevent Higuain breaking through and deservedly saw red.
Jakub Blaszczykowski subsequently made way for substitute shot-stopper Mitchell Langerak before the break.
Dortmund began the second half understandably deeper in an attempt to nullify their opponents' numerical advantage but were lucky to avoid conceding again as a rifled Insigne cross bounced off the knee of Hamsik six yards out with an hour gone.
However, it mattered little in the end, as Insigne ensured the Italians would take a two-goal lead in fabulous fashion. The 22-year-old produced an unstoppable free-kick from 30 yards out that rattled the crossbar on the way past a helpless Langerak.
Aubameyang upped the stakes in terms of audacious efforts in the immediate aftermath as he struck the bar from distance before Dries Mertens also got involved as his clever free-kick to the near post almost snuck in.
Dortmund were given hope in the dying moments as Zuniga needlessly swung at a cross into the box to leave Reina no chance of stopping the ball bouncing over the line off the post but the visitors could not launch a late comeback to avoid defeat.
|24||L. Insigne||67' 68'|
|Coach: Rafael Benítez|
for L. Insigne 73'
for G. Higuaín 78'
for M. Hamšík 90+2'
|France 1 Brazil 3: Dunga´s men maintain winning run|
|Chile 0 Iran 2: Nekounam and Amiri down Copa America hosts|
|Premier League to share over £1bn from record TV deal|
|Morocco v Uruguay: Last chance to impress Tabarez for Copa champions|
|Iran 2-0 Chile: Nekounam and Amiri down Copa America hosts|
|Ivanovic braced for Ronaldo test|
|Bahrain 0 Colombia 6: Falcao stars in comfortable victory|
|Jones to Bournemouth leads loan deadline day moves in Championship|
|Bahrain 0-6 Colombia: Falcao stars in resounding victory|
|Malmo fined for poor pitch by UEFA|
|League Two Preview: Hartlepool aim to continue great escape, leaders Burton host Stevenage|
|France 1-3 Brazil: Neymar on target as Selecao triumph in Paris|
|Bulgaria v Italy: Verratti vows to be Azzurri´s midfield general|
|Kane primed for full England debut|
|Kone receives positive news over knee injury|
|Terry pens new Chelsea deal|
|PSG tie down Marquinhos|
|De Gea stamp was accidental - Skrtel|
|Villa hopeful over Xavi reunion|
|El Salvador v Argentina: Messi set for Roca reunion|
|Ghana v Senegal: Grant´s side looking to rebuild after AFCON disappointment|
|Ferdinand to serve extended touchline ban|
|League One Preview: Duo aiming to inspire Notts County revival, Alexander back at Preston|
|Hodgson keeps an eye on Sterling and Milner|
|Filipe Luis cools talk of Atleti return|
|West Brom to wear retro kit for Leicester clash|
|Netherlands v Turkey: Sneijder unconcerned by key absentees|
|Del Bosque wary of Ukraine threat|
|Israel v Wales: Pivotal fixture for both sides in chase for Euro dream|
|Bosnich backs Villa to beat drop|
|Walcott denies Wenger ´bust-up´|
|Hart: Aguero more difficult to face than Messi|
|Williams: I can´t see myself playing for anyone else|
|Coutinho eager to add more goals to his game|
|Khedira confirms Real exit|
|Messi attends NBA match with Argentina squad|
|United will qualify for Champions League - Bosnich|
|Mexico v Ecuador: Hernandez desperate to play|
|Podolski plays down Germany cameo|
|Bendtner: I could have scored four|
|Leverock family adds to World Cup exploits for Bermuda|
|Pele: ´Impossible´ for Neymar to replace me|
|MLS Preview: New England hoping to end drought|
|A-League Preview: Phoenix without stars for Sydney showdown|
|Klinsmann laments late collapse|
|Premier League clubs post first pre-tax profit for 15 years|
|Vokes relishing chance to link up with Bale|
|Dunga encourages Brazil to entertain|
|Dyke: FA to discuss Hodgson extension|
|Janko eyes history with Austria|
|Wilson urges Begovic to stay put|
|Strachan: Scotland have work to do|
|Sky´s the limit for Australia - Postecoglou|
|Low unhappy with below-par Germany|
|Scotland 1 Northern Ireland 0: Berra´s header settles dour contest|
|Germany 2 Australia 2: Substitute Podolski salvages draw|
|Denmark 3 United States 2: Bendtner hat-trick rescues Danes|
|Scotland 1-0 Northern Ireland: Berra the unlikely hero for hosts|
|Gobbi: Players will ´pay the price´ to keep Parma afloat|
|Rose withdraws from England squad|
|Germany 2-2 Australia: Podolski rescues draw for World champions|
|Denmark 3-2 USA: Bendtner hat-trick wins it for the Danes|
|Nigeria 0 Uganda 1: Late winner sours Enyeama landmark|
|Swaziland 1 South Africa 3: Bafana Bafana back to winning ways|
|Camp Nou to host Copa del Rey final|
|Labadie charged with violent conduct after biting claims|
|Bender keen to rekindle Bayern rivalry|
|Swansea eager to tie down Taylor|
|Varane learning from Real troubles|
|Forster ruled out for rest of season|
|Inter full-back Dodo has successful surgery|
|Verratti focused on future at PSG|
|Minnesota awarded MLS expansion team|
|Ibrahimovic slams ´b******t´ PSG exit rumours|
|Gibson withdraws from Ireland squad|
|Ozil convinced he can win Ballon d’Or|
|Costa: I take a beating from Premier League defenders|
|Canada v Guatemala: Floro seeks to develop winning mentality|
|Vermaelen returns to Barcelona training|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Preview: Spain face big Ukraine test, Germany visit Georgia|
|Spain v Ukraine: Morata set for first competitive start|
|England v Lithuania: Hart urges Kane not to leave U21s behind|
|Monchengladbach snap up Hannover skipper Stindl|
|Khedira gives strong hint of Real exit|
|Skrtel banned for three matches|
|Brisbane Roar 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 4: Champions´ title defence in tatters|
|Sampdoria swoop for Ajax captain Moisander|
|Barnes: Sterling not ready for big-money move|
|Ferdinand: Ramsey appointment a gamble|
|Ideye hopeful of facing QPR|
|Lampard eyes MLS showdown with Gerrard|
|Ronaldo could face suspension over Clasico celebration|
|Hodgson expects more withdrawals|
|Schalke fans overwhelm Farfan after injury lay-off|
|Swedish third-tier club Dalkurd avoid Germanwings flight|
|Japan v Tunisia: Halilhodzic takes charge of hosts for first time|
|Schweinsteiger brushes aside captaincy pressure|
|Barzagli supports Conte call-ups|
|South Korea v Uzbekistan: Stielike searching for improvement|
|France wary of more balanced Brazil|