(Jordi Blanco, Barcelona correspondent) – Barcelona have not gone beyond a draw with Napoli at the Camp Nou and will have to earn their continental hold at Diego Armando Maradona’s stadium, where they drew two years ago with the same 1-1 score that started. This Thursday, Luciano Spalletti’s team at the Camp Nou is keeping the flame of hope alive with a team that still lacks strength in its growth.
Napoli came out alive after a comfortable first half and a grueling finish, with Barcelona flipping and taking all the risks they lacked before long and with Luc de Jong, given like a champ when he entered the final push, he turned once again in the anti-system treatment.
Barcelona were shattered by fortune because in the last 10 minutes they enjoyed as many as four excellent chances… but with that last desperate rush it showed, that it is a team under construction and in need of learning. He wanted to but couldn’t, singled out again for his unsuccessful shot and was convicted of defensive frailty. And with all this he will have to play it in Naples. for heads or tails.
Xavi modified 11, leaving Busquets on the bench for the first time this season, and formed a midfield with De Jong, Nico and Pedri, giving the right-back to Mingueza at the expense of Dest and relying on the first appearance of Aubameyang, who formed in the attack with Adama and Ferran Torres, the first interrupter And always bold and the second as flawed as he was confused.
Barcelona entered the match with a revolution, with intense pressure and an ambitious image that forced Napoli to retreat, giving the impression of repeating the good image seen against Atletico Madrid. The illusion, the hope and the expectation lasted barely twenty minutes. A shot from above by Pedri and Merritt’s rejection of Nico were enough for the Italian team to take the pulse of the match and respond to Barcelona’s push with increasing sobriety.
On the counterattack, Osimhen warned, avoiding Ter Stegen’s goal, but soon after Ferran Torres sent a free shot that Aubameyang gave him a good combination from the right wing, to the surprise of the Camp Nou. Di Lorenzo photographed Jordi Alba poorly, and gave the ball to Zielinski, who finished the match with the difficulty he sees before the negative of Eric García first and Pique, after the initial rejection of Ter Stegen, later. 0-1.
Since then, until the end of the first half, Barcelona wanted it, but he did not know, repeatedly crashed against the defensive suit and touched the ball better than the opponent who was able to comfortably maintain his advantage, which caused increased tension between Barcelona players, who welcomed Satisfied with the end of the first half.
That Barcelona is a team under construction and Napoli a unified team was half the proof. Wise at closing spaces and clever at gathering without impatience, Spalletti’s team kept the game in check. But he probably didn’t count on Barcelona’s wrath… not even on the VAR.
Barcelona returned to the field with a sharper march and Napoli with the same calm, who calmly extinguished the fires, confident that the passing of the minutes would affect the spirit of Barcelona, a team that has already shown signs of a lot. Defensive and mental fragility. But fortune and the clinical eye for video-assist technology have changed the collapse argument.
Adama’s center that ends up in Merritt’s hands. Everything is normal…even after half a minute the referee stops the match and goes to see the screen. It turned out that on Jesus Adama’s cross, Jesus patted / deflected the ball enough to be a penalty kick, despite the disbelief of the Napoli players.
Superb pole position Ferran Torres, before 1-1 and a half hour, with Barcelona connected, the crowd responded and doubts about whether Xavi’s team would be able to win, even if it was minimal.
Xavi gave him another run with Dembele, Gavi and Busquets entering to take control of Napoli, which initially caused the French winger’s general rejection, which lasted a few minutes, after which an even bigger push for Barcelona was facilitated by both a more conservative figure. From a satisfied competitor, he hinted, a draw.
For the applause and applause, Luc de Jong again greeted an urgent and last-minute resource to open up a game increasingly focused on the Naples region and turn the result into a desperate attack as brutal, repeating the occasions and mistakes in the auction that ended with the verdict on the final draw. Leave the tie open.
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