Barcelona shows promise after defeating Napoli 3-1 in their second-leg clash.
Barcelona have had a terrible season so far after struggling with a long injury list and inconsistency. The appointment of Quique Setien after the sacking of former coach Ernesto Valverde has largely benefitted the club as they seem to slowly move towards their former possession-based football but have a lot more work to do to beat the likes of Bayern Munich or Manchester City.
After failing to keep their lead over Real Madrid, Barca lost the Spanish crown after dropping points in many disappointing performances which made many questions not only their coaching staff and an aging squad but also their chances of beating Napoli in the second-leg of round-of-16 in the Champions League.
The Italian side managed to keep a surprisingly high percentage of possession against the Catalan side whos philosophy revolves around keeping the ball. The Spanish giants took their time to find their feet which saw Gennaro Gattuso’s men dominate possession for the first 10 minutes of the match, scaring the Barca fans into thinking of the worst possibility.
It was Clement Lenglet’s header in the 10th minute that shifted the dynamic of the entire match in Barca’s favor which saw the whole team put more pressure on the Italian squad which led to Lionel Messi’s dominance until the half-time. It was at this point that Setien’s men started to struggle again while Napoli started in a similar fashion to the way they started the first-half, dictating the pace of the match. Barca again took their time to find their feet and defended their 3-1 lead for the remainder of the match.
While the performance had many positives, it will be negatives that could potentially cost them the Champions League title against tougher oppositions like the one they face next, Bayern Munich.
Here are the 5 talking points as Barcelona manage to reach the quarter-finals of the European title: