Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Review of Napoli vs Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16. The match has ended, and we have finished 1-1 on the night. Personally, I am really very happy with the result that we got. We made a comeback, and got thorough the game with an away goal in our favor. I don’t think that there is much to ask for considering our recent situation. We have been pathetic playing away from home, and have struggled a lot. Furthermore, we also lack good attacking options in our lineup.
We know that Luis Suarez is out on a long-term injury, and we really felt his absence. Dembele is also out on a season long injury. Therefore, we did not have a lot of experienced players operating in the wider areas of the pitch. Furthermore, Napoli had kept really tight marking on Lionel Messi. Almost 4-5 players were marking him at the same time. This is insane! How can someone play well under such tight marking? This shows the fear of European oppositions from Lionel Messi. However, Messi still managed to be involved in the game, and kept moving around.
Griezmann was also heavily marked. The opposition defenders made sure that Griezmann did not have any freedom to move freely. Still, Griezmann made some really good runs. However, he was not much involved in the game as Messi. We know that Griezmann is not the kind of striker who is going to drop really deep, and play passes with his midfield. With that being said, he kept himself in the right position. He also ended up being on the scoresheet, and that is the best part about this game. An away goal was all that we needed. I am satisfied.
NAPOLI VS FC BARCELONA MATCH REVIEW
Barcelona stepped on to the pitch with only one thought in mind. That thought was to dominate the opposition, and maintain more ball possession. Surely, Barcelona did enjoy more possession. However, it was Napoli who was really relaxed about not having the ball. They were okay with Barcelona seeing more of the ball. They only wanted Barcelona to get nothing significant out of all the possession they were keeping. Regardless to say, they were successful. We only scored one goal, even though it is a really vital one for us. We didnot dominate much.
There are also a lot of thing which have gone wrong for us stepping into the second leg of the tie. The first drawback for us are the suspensions. Both Sergio Busquests, and Vidal picked up cards which have banned them from playing in the second leg. Secondly, Gerrard Pique also got injured. Reports are saying that he is going to be fit enough to participate in the El Classico. We have to wait for it, and see if it actually happens. Furthermore, I talked about Luis’s absence being felt through the game. Yes, this was a major drawback for us.
I really love Griezmann, and the way he plays. I really wanted him to be the scoresheet. If you’re a regular visitor to our website, then you must know that I am a huge Griezmann fan. However, if Luis Suarez was there in place of him, we would have seen a lot different football. Suarez connects really well with Lionel Messi. Suarez is aware of how to make those cunning runs despite the tight man marking. Furthermore, Suarez can convert even difficult passes into goals. This is something Greizmann is struggling with at the moment. Let’s talk about Starting Lineup.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen started in goal. Ter Stegen was once again phenomenal for us. He made two really crucial saves which were almost guaranteed goals. Furthermore, he was really alert. This is proven by the fact that he actually shouted at Semedo who was being careless when Napoli was taking a corner kick during the dying moments of the game. This shows that he was mentally focused, and had full concentration into the game. Our defensive line consisted of Firpo, Umtiti, Pique, and Semedo. Firpo was certainly not in the right zone.
I really felt the absence of Jordi Alba, just like Luis Suarez. Furthermore, Umtiti started ahead of Clement Lenglet. At first, this did not look to be the right decision to me. However, Umtiti had a great game. Lenglet came in later on. Pique was also good, according to my opinion. He had a few good touches on the ball. He was really involved in the game especially in the first half. Semedo was good as well. He assisted Griezmann which led to our only goal of the game. Our midfield consisted of Sergio Busquests, Vidal, De Jong, and Rakitic.
Rakitic was certainly not in the flow, and therefore, he was subbed off in the second half. Arthur came in place of Rakitic, and we saw visible changes in our midfield. We were moving the ball way better, and we were able to create the buildup leading to the goal. As mentioned above, Sergio Busquests, and Vidal got booked which is going to prevent them from playing in the second leg. Our attack was not sparking enough. Messi did not have the best of the games due to the reason of excessive coverage. However, he still hanged around, and helped his team maneuver the ball.
There might be a lot of mixed views about who deserves to be the best performer of the game. However, my best player was Ter Stegen. The fact that he made two amazing saves, and that he was so involved in the game shows how much he cares for our badge. His attitude showed that he wants to win this competition at all costs. This is the kind of attitude I need from my Barca boys.
Anyway guys, this is it from the Napoli vs Barcelona Match Review. I hope you like the content we wrote for you. For more Previews, Reviews, and other news related to FC Barcelona, stay tuned.
Until the next time, Visca El Barca!