Lionel Messi waves his magic as Barca beat Napoli 3-1

Lionel Messi waves his magic as Barca beat Napoli 3-1 and advance to the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League.

Lionel Messi #10 of Barcelona reacts after completing his hat trick

In 2012 Chelsea defeated Napoli in the Round of 16 and so did Real Madrid in 2017. Both of them went on to win the Champions League the following year. Barca would be hoping for a similar outcome after they beat Napoli 3-1 at Camp Nou and 4-2 on aggregate. There was tension around the club given that they had lost the La Liga title to Real Madrid. A bad result against Napoli would have further demoralised the club. However, like any top club, the Catalans responded well to adversity as their messiah Lionel Messi came to their rescue. While Frankie De Jong was also brilliant in the midfield.

1st  half

Things we’re actually going fine for Napoli before Clément Lenglet scored a header from an Ivan Ratikic corner. They were dominating possession and they looked dangerous when they had the ball. However, after that goal Bara were able to impose their authority on the game and Napoli were on the back foot. Despite the goal, there was still plenty of hope for Napoli to come back in the game. They did attack Barca but they were not looking convincing. On the other hand Barca looked dangerous whenever they had the ball.

The Catalans were lucky to score the second goal. Lionel Messi received the ball on the right and tried to dribble past Napoli’s defence. They did try to tackle him but the ball bounced off and it came in an awkward position for Messi but he still managed to shoot and find the back of the net to make it 2-0. Barca did not stop there and they kept on attacking and pressing Napoli. A superb Frankie De Jong pass found Messi and the Argentinian put the ball past Ospina, but VAR disallowed that goal for handball.

However, in the extra time of first half, Koulibaly fouled Messi inside the box and Luis Suarez converted the following penalty. It looked a long way back for Napoli after that but later in extra time of first half they were awarded a penalty. Dries Mertens was tripped by Ivan Ratikic and Lorenzo Insgine made no mistake from the spot.

2nd Half

After such a stellar first-half performance Barca failed to replicate the same in the second half. Lucky for them as Napoli were equally bad and Barca were not punished. Both the teams were struggling to have continuous possession. There were sloppy passes and fouls committed by both the teams.

Napoli had a few half chances when Koulibaly was inside the box for a free-kick but there was nothing for which Ter Stegen had to work. In the later stage of the game, Napoli ran out of fuel as they had to score two goals to go through. While Barca were not really playing with a lot of attacking intent given that they had already had a big lead.

The second half ended with no goals as Barca won the tie 4-2 on aggregate. The Catalans will now take on Bayern Munich in Lisbon in the quarter-finals. The games in Lisbon will be one match knockout round. The winner between Barca and Bayern Munich will face the winner between Lyon and Manchester City in the semi-final.

Barcelona vs Napoli 3−1 All Goals Highlights 2020

Full time: FC Barcelona 3 {Lenglet 10’, Messi 23’, Suarez 45+1’ (P)} vs Napoli 1 {Insigne 45+5’ (P)}

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