Barcelona vs Napoli 3-1: Lewandowski Inspires Youthful Barca’s Triumph in Champions League

Barcelona dominated Napoli in UEFA Champion League match on Tuesday, 12th March (First Knockout Round) where they defeated Napoli 3-1, highlighted by Robert Lewandowski’s performance. 
Barcelona vs Napoli 3-1: Lewandowski Inspires Youthful Barca’s Triumph in Champions League

Xavi Hernandez‘s team won 4-2 overall when Barcelona defeated Napoli 3-1 thanks to goals from Fermin Lopez, Joao Cancelo, and Robert Lewandowski; Amir Rrahmani’s goal was in vain for the Italian club. Fermin Lopez and Joao Cancelo placed Xavi Hernandez’s team in complete control of the game with two goals early on, but Barca had to weather a scare from the Italian champions in the middle of the game.

Before the half, Amir Rrahmani drew one back, and late in the game, Jesper Lindstrom missed the mark with a header that would have tied the score at point-blank range. Rather, Robert Lewandowski sealed the deal with a brilliant team move.
Although neither team has been able to successfully defend their national titles this year, Barcelona still has hope of finishing their European run in the top spot.

Barcelona Counter Napoli’s Fightback

Barcelona got off to a strong start, which was indicative of their better play since Xavi declared his intention to leave at the conclusion of the season. They had not lost in eight games going into this one since the midfield icon put a stop to any discussion regarding his long-term coaching status.

Choosing a youthful team, Pau Cubarsi, who was just 17 years old, embraced the responsibility of marking Victor Osimhen and put Lopez and Lamine Yamal front and center from the start. Cubarsi’s long pass nearly gave Lopez the first goal.

He didn’t have to wait long as he scored with a low finish that looked to boost Barca’s self-assurance. They doubled their lead in a matter of minutes. Cancelo bounded onto the rebound after Raphinha struck the post, finishing with a goal.

Napoli appeared defenseless, all heads bent and shoulders shrugged, but they managed to respond just in time to seem like Barca had broken the stalemate. After a deft move to the right, defender Rrahmani finished it off with a beautiful left foot conversion.

That quickly changed the atmosphere, and the home team’s second half was tense since they couldn’t hold onto the ball. After Cubarsi seemed to make touch with Osimhen inside the area, Napoli felt wronged not to have been awarded a penalty.

Lindstrom’s header will be the main source of sadness for Napoli, though. When the cross arrived from the left, he was not under any pressure and seemed to find his area, only to watch the ball veer wide of the near post. Lewandowski held him accountable.

It was also a stunning goal, evoking memories of Barca’s finest moments. Sergi Roberto’s run was set up by Ilkay Gundogan’s usually deft pass, and his selflessness was rewarded when he found Lewandowski in the middle. The rest was done by the skilled marksman.

Barcelona Win in Stats

For the first time since 2019–20, Barcelona has advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals. They also eliminated Napoli 4–2 on aggregate from the season’s final 16.
For the first time since 2017–18, Barcelona has won all four of their home games during a competition. This season, they are the Champions League champions.

In four of the five times Napoli has advanced to this round of the Champions League, they have been ousted in the round of sixteen. In his last 13 Champions League knockout games, Robert Lewandowski has scored 13 goals.
Joao Cancelo is the only defender to have 10+ goal involvements in the tournament since the start of 2020–21 (14 – 5 goals, 9 assists).

Barcelona became the first team in UEFA Champions League history to start two players who were 17 years of age or younger in a knockout match when they started Lamine Yamal (16 years 243 days) and Pau Cubarsi (17 years 50 days).


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