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European League :FC Barcelona Crushes Napoli 4-2

by Kolkata Today

Xavi’s FC Barcelona produced an absolutely tremendous display at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to coast their way into the last sixteen of the Europa League.
From start to finish, it was an absolute masterclass from the Catalans, who were already two goals to the good before the first quarter of an hour was up, and from there on never really looked in trouble against the side that’s currently third in Serie A.

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Barca were two goals ahead in the first quarter of an hour and both goals were absolute beauties.

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The first began with a fluffed Napoli corner, for which they were severely punished. Adama Traoré spearheaded the perfect counter attack, powering his way through a sea of blue shirts before laying up a tremendous pass for Jordi Alba to meet and fire home.

The second from Frenkie de Jong was equally impressive. A scrumptious back-heel from Ferran Torres and what a finish from the Dutchman! From outside of the area it was no thunderbolt. Instead it was such a gorgeously executed curler that Napoli keeper Alex Meret could only watch as it glided into the top corner.

Barca were on fire. Chance after chance followed, some of them very good ones too. But it was the Italians, who had barely created any danger of their own, who got back into the game when Ter Stegen was judged to have clipped Victor Osimhen in the area. Lorenzo Insigne made no mistake from the spot.

Lorenzo Insigne scored from the subsequent spot-kick, however Gerard Pique scored a wonderfully impressive technical goal in the final minute of the half to restore Barcelona’s two-goal advantage on the night.

Napoli tried to battle back into the game, but Barca were having none of it. Another flash of brilliance from Adama teed up Aubameyang, and the Gabonese striker swiped the ball goalward.

That’s an extraordinary 26 goals for Auba in this competition, and four for Barça against the meanest defence in the Italian league.

With just four minutes to play, Matteo Politano scored a consolation goal for the hosts.

The result on the night saw Barca progress through to the next round of the Europa League by an aggregate scoreline of 5-3, with the attacking football on display by the Barca being simply outstanding at times.

As good as this performance was, and it’s historic in many ways, there will be huge annoyance, from the back four but particularly Xavi, about the way that they conceded a second time. But, weighing everything up, this was monstrously impressive. Tactically astute, super-hard working, intelligent but daring and creative too. If you love football you’ll have loved these six goals. But Barca march on.

Napoli’s Politano said “We must not lower our heads now. Fortunately, in three days we can already try to redeem ourselves in Serie A against a strong team like Lazio. You need to recharge your batteries immediately and focus on the next game.”

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said ,”We managed to get back into the game after those two early goals but we conceded the third just ahead of the interval and it became even more complicated. We are very disappointed, tonight the typical Naples atmosphere was recreated: it took us so much effort to recreate all this. This is even more disappointing than the result.”

FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong said “Now the results are coming”.

FC Barcelona coach Xavi said , “We pressed well, high up, whenever we lost the ball…just like we did at home. Napoli pressed high up and spaces were available in behind them. From defending a corner we made a textbook counterattack. We took advantage of our fast players. We understood how to create and use a ‘free man’. I’m very happy for the team.”


European League FC Barcelona Napoli Football Sports  Kolkata

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