Joy, excitement and thrill. Three emotions one will feel after watching Barcelona play. Due to the depth of forwards that Barça now has, Xavi has achieved his ultimate 4-3-3 formation.
A frontline consisting of Ferran, Aubameyang, and Adama is capable of some incredible aggressive interaction. The midfield triumvirate of Pedri, De Jong, and Busquets has performed admirably.
Pedri and De Jong have worked diligently to counter-press and generate a lack of confidence in Napoli’s early build-up play, which has been a key factor in Barça’s dominance. In the eighth minute, an ill-administered corner by Insiqne resulted in an unexpected but stunning counter-attack in which the ball passed via the quick feet of Aubameyang and Adama Traore before being finished off by Jordi Alba.
Barça had doubled their lead in the first 15 minutes, leaving Napoli baffled, and a sensational curler from Frenkie De Jong found the back of the net as Meret was left rooted to the spot: Barça had doubled their lead in the first 15 minutes, laying them in the perfect position to progress to the Round Of 16.
Napoli made a change to their game plan by committing bodies behind the ball in an attempt to attack the areas that Barça had left open during the transition. One such play saw Osimhen find himself in the box, where Ter Stegen came out tackling aimlessly and conceded a penalty, which Insigne scored to give the hosts some hope. Napoli kept looking for openings in transition, but Pique and Araujo stood firm and blocked most of these erratic attempts.
On the stroke of halftime, Pique retrieved the ball in his stride and struck it with his left foot, shooting for the far post, where it was perfectly placed to restore Barça’s two-goal lead. It an is incredible finale to an incredible half of football.
Periods of assertion yielded fruit just before the hour mark and Traore unleashed a delightful pass to Auba, who redeemed his misses with a top corner strike, following some excellent build-up with markers being deceived, Napoli’s defensive block being constrained, and poised possession spells.
At the 87th Minute, Politano cuts in from the right flank moves onto his left foot and glides a precise low finish past Ter Stegen and into the bottom corner from more than 20 yards away. That would be a small consolation for Napoli as they lost 5-3 to aggregate. Napoli struggled from the outset, and Barca made sure they didn’t feel at ease until the last whistle.