Barça beats Naples in a lesson in football and self-love | Soccer | Sports

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Barcelona fans finally treated themselves to a happy night in Montjuïc after the disagreements experienced with Madrid and Girona. The Champions League was very different from the League. The Blaugrana played as if their lives depended on it and reached the quarter-finals with the determination of an applicant rather than with the fear of a condemned man against an overmatched Naples. The team applied itself with responsibility and self-esteem, as demanded by a day in which the difference between winning or losing was abysmal, with the players and the coach very determined to continue counting in Europe. The players were as decisive as the coach because Xavi knew how to start and finish the match after a good version of Napoli appeared at halftime.

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Ter Stegen, Pau Cubarsí, Cancelo, Koundé, Ronald Araújo, A. Christensen (Oriol Romeu, min. 60), Gündogan, Fermín López, Lamine Yamal, Raphinha (João Félix, min. 80) and Lewandowski

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Naples

Alex Meret, Juan Jesus, Di Lorenzo, Mário Rui (Mathías Olivera, min. 63), Rrahmani, Hamed Junior Traore (Giacomo Raspadori, min. 78), Lobotka, Franck Zambo, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Cyril Ngonge, min. 92), Politano (Jesper Lindstrom, min. 63) and Victor Osimhen

Goals 1-0 min. 14: Fermin Lopez. 2-0 min. 16: I cancel. 2-1 min. 29: Rrahmani. 3-1 min. 83: Lewandowski.

Referee Danny Makkelie

Yellow cards A. Christensen (min. 19), Lamine Yamal (min. 43), Juan Jesus (min. 47), Hamed Junior Traore (min. 63) and Mathías Olivera (min. 66)

Xavi appealed to collective courage to face a very risky event and therefore he was not afraid when it came to singing the lineup when he opted for individuals such as Yamal, Fermín and the debutant Cubarsí. The coach decided on the youth players and Raphinha’s work capacity rather than on the virtuosity of the discontinued João Félix or the leadership of Iñigo Martínez. It was necessary to guarantee a clean release of the ball to compensate for the absence of creative means – Pedri and De Jong – and save the pressure from Naples, a team that becomes disoriented every time it splits and has to retreat quickly towards Meret. The plan went very well at the beginning because Barça took a 2-0 lead.

Fermín made a point as soon as Napoli took a center shot and Lamine kept going around Mário Rui. The match took place on the court of an Italian team whose orientation depended on an overwhelmed Lobotka. The Blaugrana pressed the center midfielder and pulled offside to isolate Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia. The best scenario for a dynamic footballer like Fermín. He did not get the ball right when he was enabled by Cubarsí and instead he finished off a Raphinha cross in an unappealable way. The Brazilian was also decisive in the 2-0 lead after cutting back and shooting against the post in an action triggered by Yamal. Cancelo picked up the rejection to culminate a full quarter of an hour for Barça.

The Blaugrana played with energy and concentration, very vertical in transitions, firm in defense and aggressive in attack, fast on the wings with Raphinha and Yamal, both favored by Lewandowski’s unchecking. Barça was deployed with the determination of the team that has to come back from a game and not manage a two-goal advantage achieved overwhelmingly in a fiery Montjuïc. Very direct and fierce in the face of Meret, the Blaugrana did not know how to rest with the ball, vulnerable as soon as they gave themselves a short rest, enough time for Politano to beat Cancelo’s back and filter the ball for the center back Rrhamarni, who scored the 2 -1.

Ter Stegen avoided a tie shortly after after a header from Di Lorenzo. The match was as precious for the spectator as it was delicate for a Barcelona caught up in the rush and lacking pause, attacked by Calzona’s resurrected and undefeated Napoli, pardoned by the Barcelona fans in the first leg played at the Maradona stadium. Once the break was reached, the match became very long for Barcelona, ​​away from Meret since the 2-0 play. In the absence of means to control the game, Barça was left without ball or current, in tow of Naples. Xavi immediately refreshed the squad and filled the gap with two home midfielders: Sergi Roberto and Oriol Romeu.

The changes helped Barça, who were more active and always dedicated to Yamal, and they ended up defeating Naples. The ball returned to the Naples area with the intervention of Sergi Roberto. The midfielder combined very well with Gündogan and the score was 3-1 when Lewandowski pushed the ball into the net. The media rallied to the striker’s luck and the team finally broke free to the joy of Montjuïc. Stunned, Napoli, dressed in white, only aspired to reduce the score with a couple of shots against Stegen.

The plot and the outcome allowed Xavi to boast of his achievement after four years of loss and a previous phase in which reprehensible defeats against Shakthar and Antwerp were conceded. The response was categorical when it was demanded by Porto and Naples. It was not the triumph of a survivor who also saved the club’s coffers, but rather that of a worthy European Cup quarterfinalist.

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