Yesterday’s game against Napoli at Camp Nou was a tricky one for Barcelona, who had to do keep the balance between attack and defense to keep Napoli onto their toes. In the first opening minutes, Napoli was looking decisive breaking into attacks, however, Mertens couldn’t find the net.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergio Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Frenkie De Jong, Messi, Suárez (Firpo 90’+2), Griezmann (Monchu 84’)
Napoli: Ospina Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mário Rui Fabián (Elmas 79’), Demme (Lobotka 46’), Zielinski (Lozano 70’) Callejón (Politano 70’), Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne (Milik 79’)
As the game went on FC Barcelona looked much more confident and then the first goal came from Clement Lenglet who managed to shove the Napoli defense to get net the first goal. Barca looked much more dominant after that and eventually, thanks to Messi’s heroics, we got an incredible second goal.
Only Messi could have scored such a stunning goal even if he was falling to the ground. This made the team even more confident which did actually helped for the third goal, thanks to the VAR, Messi’s goal was disallowed.
In the ‘actual third goal’ Messi was again involved, giving Koulibaly some hard time, who eventually got stunned and almost ripped apart the Barca captain’s leg. He had nothing to do but to give away a penalty which Saurez just nailed it into the top right-hand corner to make 3-0.
In the dying minutes of the added time in the first half, Rakitic made a clumsy tackle on Mertens in the penalty box to concede one. Insigne, who was made to play yesterday even if he got injured in his last game, took the penalty decisively, giving Ter Stegan no option at all. The 3-1 scoreline gave Napoli the belief to fight into the second half.
The second half wasn’t actually the Barca we are used to watching as there were no threats coming from attacks. Napoli, however, had chances but somehow couldn’t convert into goals, who also looked out of rhythm like Barca.
By the time Setien made any substitutes, Gattuso made all of them, which however bring in some spark, not enough to find the net. For Barca, Monchu and Firpo were introduced, which should have been done earlier. Barcelona totally looked exhausted and Setien should have brought in Riqui Puig or Ansu Fati to bring in some spark.
But Setien chose to defend Napoli, who looked to have given the hope in the last ten minutes of the game. Passing the ball among themselves to spend the time is not the Barca we know who are always craved for goals.
After the final whistle, it almost looked a job done instead of an emphatic win, which their next opponent Bayern Munich was enjoying at the Allianz Arena. Barcelona will be facing the Bundesliga champions, who are the favorites this season with their amazing form, in Lisbon next week.
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