Barcelona beat Napoli to reach Champions League quarterfinals

barcelona vs napoli

Barcelona defeated Napoli 3-1 in the second leg of their round-of-16 match on Tuesday to win 4-2 overall and go to the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in four years.

The hosts took the lead early on thanks to goals from Fermín López and João Cancelo. Amir Rrahmani then reduced the deficit before halftime, but Robert Lewandowski sealed the victory with a late third.

Barcelona had not advanced past the group stage in the previous two years and have not faced Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals since 2019–20. At the conclusion of the subsequent season, Barcelona lost club legend Lionel Messi.

“I’m overjoyed that Barcelona is among Europe’s top eight. Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez stated Mediaset, “It was a well-deserved qualification, a game dominated in attack and defense but also an excellent game by Napoli.”

We’re happy with the qualification, and the draw’s outcome will be observed. Happy to return to the quarterfinals after a long absence.”
Barcelona’s best realistic opportunity to win a title this season may be in the Champions League. They now trail La Liga leaders Real Madrid by seven points after being ousted in the Copa del Rey.

barcelona vs napoli

At the conclusion of the current campaign, Xavi has already declared his intention to step down as manager.

Due to injury, the Barcelona manager was still unable to rely on Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, and Ferran Torres.

Pau Cubarsí, a 17-year-old center defender, was awarded man of the match for his efforts to contain Napoli’s onslaught, alongside Xavi.
Barcelona became the first team in the history of the Champions League knockout stage to start several players under the age of 18, as they also started 16-year-old Lamine Yamal.

Barca pressed high early on in a very intriguing match at Montjuic Stadium, giving Napoli little time to settle. The few attacks the visitors managed to mount ended with Victor Osimhen offside.

Cancelo set up the first goal by playing in Raphinha down the left side. He ran into the box and pulled back a pass, which Lewandowski allowed to run to Fermin, who was unmarked and shot neatly into the bottom left corner.
Barca extended their lead before Napoli could regroup. In an attempt to draw even, the visitors advanced, but Barcelona quickly replied.

Cancelo was there to smash his first-time effort into the net after a brilliant cross-field ball from Yamal found Raphinha, who cut into the area and mistakenly stepped inside Giovanni Di Lorenzo before curling a shot that rebounded off the far post. Francesco Calzona, the manager of Napoli, stated, “There is disappointment because we came here to try to win and we didn’t succeed.” We got off to a very bad start, if you concede so much to this team in the long run you lose it.”

Napoli finally found a way through on the half hour when Matteo Politano went past Cancelo in the area before playing the ball back to Rrahmani whose run from the back was rewarded with a sidefooted shot past goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen.

Visiting keeper Alex Meret kept Napoli in the tie with a couple of great saves after the break from Lewandowski and Ilkay Gündogan, but could do nothing about the final goal. Lewandowski fashioned a neat one-two with Gündogan who played the ball in to Sergi Roberto and his quick pass found the Polish striker for a simple tap-in to kill off Napoli’s hopes.
Napoli, the first-ever Italian champions to make it to the quarterfinals of the previous season, lost their finest opportunity to tie the score just minutes earlier when Jesper Lindstrom glanced just wide.

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, and Arsenal are the other teams that have already secured their spots in the quarterfinal draw, which is scheduled for this Friday. Juventus qualified for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup thanks to a European ranking system after defeating Napoli.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *