“Barcelona vs Napoli: Dramatic Victory Sends Barça into Champions League Quarter-finals!”


After defeating Napoli in the Estadi Olympic Lulisa Company, Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona has reached the CL quarterfinals after a gap of four years. The Estadi Olympic Lulisa Company’s best home crowd of the season put up a spectacular performance against FC Barcelona, defeating Napoli 3-1, securing their spot in the Champions League quarterfinals draw on Friday.

Here’s how the goals unfolded(watch)

Right from the start, both sides were trying to make runs from behind, with Napoli’s Osimhen looking dangerous. Despite 17-year-old Cubarsi making his CL debut at center-back, he showed his quality against Osimhen with a big challenge just 8 minutes in.
In-form youngster Blogrensa had a shot wide after 9 minutes, before Cubarsi delivered a beautiful ball on top that midfielder failed to stop four minutes later.

However, denying Formin was not to be as, after cleverly redirecting a ball by Lewandowski, Rafinha cut back from the left after 15 minutes to make it 1-0. Amongst Blogrensa’s teeth, there was a slight injury, and just two minutes later Rafinha was back in action as his shot from the right post was deflected in before Cancelo made it 2-0 after 17 minutes.

Barcelona 2-1 Lead at Halftime

It seemed Napoli would face a tough challenge in the remaining game, but after breaking the offside trap, Rahmani opened his left foot to score past Ter Stegen on the right. Just four minutes later, the German stopper was back in action, this time making a good save off Napoli captain Lorenzo’s header. The score at halftime was 2-1, and everything was still to play for.

Pressure on Napoli but Barcelona’s victory

After the break, Napoli started with an early pressure, with a shot from Quaratskhelia hitting the left post of Ter Stegen, which despite several corners and free kicks was the best chance for the spectators during that period. After good work from Cancelo on the left, Blogrensa responded with a shot through Rafinha’s shot after 54 minutes, but Napoli was finding joy on their right through Quaratskhelia and Ruiz

Xavi responded for Formin by bringing Sergi Roberto for Ramu and Romu for Christiansen in midfield, countering the pressure from the visitors. The changes seemed effective as the home team was finding more joy in attacks, first stopping Rafinha’s free-kick and saving the resulting corner in the 67th minute. Gundogan’s shot went close in the 73rd minute, and almost found the net in the next corner.

Napoli was late in making changes, but Barcelona looked dangerous on the break, with Coubarsi assured at the back. After 75 minutes, a Rafinha shot was saved before Sergi Roberto’s good ball recovery ended with Laimin Yaml’s wide curling shot.
A late push by Napoli saw Lindstrom’s header go just wide of Ter Stegen’s left post, but the game was sealed by a brilliant move by Blogrensa, who again got involved, setting up a run inside and passing to Gundogan, who played a slide-rule pass. Back to the midfielder, who scored for Lewandowski to make it 3-1 after 83 minutes.

Lewandowski’s strike(watch video)

Player’s rating

Goalkeeper and Defense

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (7/10):
Couldn’t do much about Rahmani’s goal. Made an impressive save to deny a quick second. Solid in his distribution too.
Jules Koundé (8/10):
His match against Quaratskhelia always seemed pivotal on the field. He kept it calm from the start and as the Georgian player advanced, he kept himself composed.

Ronald Araujo (7/10):
Managed the high line effectively but was a bit shaky in tight spaces. Nevertheless, always ready for the fight.
Pau Torres (8/10):
A clever, early interception prevented Osimhen from finding the net within 60 seconds. Played some beautiful forward passes and looked comfortable throughout.
Joao Cancelo (7/10):
Found himself on the scoresheet. Dangerous for the opposition with his runs down the left, although he might have shown a bit more restraint at times. Did his defensive work well too.

Also Read : “Barcelona vs Celta Vigo: Lewandowski’s Penalty Drama Reignites Magic Touch – A Tale of Redemption”


Andreas Christensen (5/10):
Dealt with some foolish challenges, perhaps lucky not to be sent off. Wasn’t his best time out there.
Fermin Lopez (8/10):
Stepped up with consistency. Kept it tidy and clipped over the top when needed. Finished with a beautiful strike. Looked tired towards the end – and rightfully so.
Ilkay Gundogan (7/10):
Worked as the pivot in central midfield and got things ticking in the final third. However, failed to track Rahmani for Napoli’s goal.

Also Read : “Bayern’s Champions League Journey: Harry Kane’s Double Secures Quarterfinal Spot with 3-0 Victory over Lazio”


Laimin Yaml (8/10):
Magical at times. His fantastic runs set up the second for Barca, and his continuous trickery gave Ruiz nightmares. Had several chances to find the net, some went wide while others were well saved.
Robert Lewandowski (6/10):
Lost a bit of spark in the middle and the game passed him by for long stretches. However, he didn’t miss the chance to finish.
Rafinha (8/10):
Crucial in the early goals, and dangerous down the entire left flank. Provided good support. All in all, Napoli took his help to kick him out in the end.

Posts source : Barcelona official website & X


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