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Barcelona 3-1 Napoli (4-2 aggr): Player Ratings



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Gunning for a spot in the final eight of the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona and Napoli took to the field in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie last night. After all, there was everything to play for after the 1-1 draw in the first leg.

The clash at Estadi Olimpic de Lluis Companys featured nail-biting action with both teams stepping on the gas and upping the ante. Neither side, ironically, appeared to be in disarray despite their relatively poor domestic form this season.

Barcelona scored twice in two minutes through Fermin Lopez and Joao Cancelo early in the half. Napoli cut the deficit to one through Amir Rrahmani’s perfect finish from distance and the second half had everything to play for.

In the end, however, Napoli simply could not get past the Catalan defence once more and Barcelona emphatically took a 4-2 lead on aggregate through Robert Lewandowski. They are now in the quarterfinals of the elite European competition and good company.

Barça Universal brings you the player ratings from the second leg against Napoli.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 7.5

Coming off three consecutive clean sheets, the German goalkeeper saw his streak break on Tuesday night. Yet, that does not go to say that his performance was inferior by any means.

Ter Stegen could not do much to deny Napoli’s opening goal for it was impeccably placed. The goal apart, he made three saves from inside the box in just the first half including a critical tip over the crossbar to deny the Italians a clear equaliser.

Jules Kounde: 7

A tricky night for Barcelona’s right-back, for he was pitted against the in-form Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Did not venture too far forward, stayed put in defence, and was decent with his distribution.

Ronald Araujo: 7

Returning to the starting lineup, Araujo was relatively solid in central defence against Napoli but not without the occasional error. Still tangibly away from his best version.

Pau Cubarsi: 7.5

The youngster was given a run in Barcelona’s most important match of the season and did not disappoint with some clutch interceptions and good reading of play. However, he was almost punished after he failed to mark Di Liorenzo’s header that threatened to level the scores.

Nevertheless, an outrageous performance from the teenage prodigy for the greater part and a statement of his quality.

Joao Cancelo: 8.5

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

The Portuguese full-back constantly pushed forward in attack, providing Barcelona with width down the left flank. Scored the team’s second goal thanks to his great positioning and reflexes but was outdone relatively easily as Napoli constructed their opener down his flank.

Andreas Christensen: 6.5

The Danish international is slowly growing into the defensive midfielder position, although he still understandably has blues at the new role. Christensen was not as involved in the first half as he would have liked with just 12 passes to his name, yet did record seven defensive actions.

Taken off 15 minutes and three additional passes later in the second half.

Ilkay Gundogan: 8

A standard, high-quality, run-of-the-mill performance from the German midfielder. Playing slightly deeper in the park, he did not have as much influence in the final third as he would have liked, yet literally ran the midfield show from start to finish.

Stepped higher up after the introduction of Roberto and Romeu and had an instrumental role in the team’s third goal.

Fermin Lopez: 8.5

The La Masia protege was handed the start at Montjuic to replace the injured midfield stars, and what a show he put up against the Italians. Lopez generated threat throughout the first period to good effect, moving quietly between the lines and putting a confident face in front of the goal.

Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

In the first half alone, Lopez provided two key passes and had close to three big chances to score. Eventually, it was he who netted the team’s opening goal on the night with a neat and well-placed finish.

Lamine Yamal: 9

While the world fights about whether Yamal is 16 or 20 years old, the youngster casually dropped another masterclass in the UEFA Champions League. Pacey, direct and full of guile, he was a nuisance to Mario Ruiz down the left flank and created the second chance with a raging counter and a perfect ball to Raphinha.

Completed two key passes, and three dribbles and recorded three shots in a knockout UCL game.

Robert Lewandowski: 7.5

The Polish international had one of his off nights at Montjuic, barely involved in the buildup or creating threat in the box. Did not complete a single shot on target even past the hour mark and could not capitalise on the few good balls he received from the back.

Came up clutch in the 82nd minute to score the team’s third of the night and put the game beyond Napoli.

Raphinha: 8.5

The Brazilian should have scored Barcelona’s second goal of the game but was denied by the woodwork. Yet, credit where it is due, he was a positive influence with his buildup play when on the attack.

Was far better in the second half, regularly posing a threat in front of the goal and with his crosses.

Sergi Roberto: 8

A healthy cameo from the club captain, freeing Gundogan from the shackles of playing deep. Recorded two key passes and created one big chance less than 15 minutes into his cameo.

Was sensational in the buildup for Lewandowski’s goal, selflessly passing the ball after creating the chance with his run.

Oriol Romeu: 7

Took over from Christensen in defensive midfield and provided some fluidity to the midfield structure.

Joao Felix: NA

Came on too late to make a tangible impact.

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