A match summary / review of the Barcelona 3-1 Napoli game.
Barcelona started the game under control. In the 10th minute of the game, Lenglet scored a header goal from a corner kick after Lionel Messi’s effort on goal was cleared by the goalkeeper. Only 13 minutes later, the Argentine himself stepped up. In the 33rd minute, again, Messi scored from a De Jong assist, but the goal was not given because of a handball while controlling the ball. Right before half-time, Messi managed to get the ball from Koulibaly, and unintentionally immediately got fouled inside the box by the defender. Luis Suarez converted the penalty, but immediately afterward, Rakitic fouled Dries Mertens inside the box. Lorenzo Insigne scored the penalty, and the first half ended 3-1 in Barcelona’s favor.
Overall, a great first-half performance from Barcelona, even though Messi’s short injury scared many Culés.
First-half score: Barcelona 3-1 Napoli (4-2 agg.)
📸 — Leader. pic.twitter.com/OXN1IntvS3— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) August 8, 2020
Despite doubts about Messi’s fitness after the incident with Koulibaly at the end of the first half, the Argentine started the second-half on the field. In the 54th minute, Mertens’ low effort on goal from inside the box on the left is blocked. It popped up for Insigne, but Ter Stegen was there to interrupt. Frenkie De Jong absolutely dominated the entire midfield tonight, especially around minute 70. The Dutchman was all over the field, and in the 77th minute, he made a lovely pass to Suárez, but the Uruguayan failed to bring it into control. 4 minutes later, Milik headed it in for Napoli but it has been ruled offside.
It is surprising that Barça B players Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig did not get minutes tonight, especially considering that coach Quique Setién hinted towards a possible start for the two.
With a 4-2 win on aggregate against Napoli, Barcelona now will play against Bayern Münich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Final score: Barcelona 3-1 Napoli (4-2 agg.)
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Sergi Roberto, Rakitic; Messi, Suárez (90+2′ Firpo), Griezmann (84′ Monchu)
Goals: 10′ Lenglet, 23′ Lionel Messi, 45′ Luis Suarez (Penalty)
Napoli: Ospina; Rui, Koulibaly, Manolas, Di Lorenzo; Zielinski (70′ Lozano), Demme (46′ Lobotka), Ruiz (79′ Elif Elmas); Insigne (79′ Milik), Mertens, Callejon (70′ Politano)
Goals: 45+5′ Insigne (Penalty)
That brings an end to the Barcelona – Napoli match summary.
Barcelona 1-0 Elche: Match Review
In their last pre-season game, Barcelona had to play at the top of their game before the match against Villarreal next Sunday. In the Gamper trophy, Barcelona showed many promising signs, especially in attack. However, the main talking point was Riqui Puig being left out of the squad.
Barcelona started the half really well as the movement was already better than what they showed in 2019/20, and the stale ball circulation became a fluid passing game which made Elche leave a lot of space behind.
Leo Messi started the recital with a typical pass to Jordi Alba, in acres of space, who had the time to give the ball to Griezmann whose run was everything Barça missed. Griezmann opened the scoring, and Barcelona kept going, in vain. However, the Catalans did try to breach the Elche defence and, at times, only a clinical striker was missing to be leading by 3 or 4 goals at the half.
With Griezmann’s shot stopped, Messi’s electrifying free-kick parried, and Coutinho’s header turned to a corner, Barcelona had the chances but no clinical touch. They continued with the excellent ball circulation while moving a lot to open spaces. One of the best moments of the game came in the 19th minute when Messi jogged back, and Griezmann ran into space to open the play for Sergi Roberto, and the action finished with a failed header by the Blaugrana attackers.
A good half that shows what Barça need: Clinical finishing.
Barcelona came in the second half with no changes and continued dominating the game without scoring goals. With the same enthusiasm and movement, the Culés found breaches in Elche’s defence and tried exploiting them with the same players.
However, at the half-hour mark, Koeman opted for a triple change and on came Ousmane Dembélé, Fernando Trincão and the long-awaited Miralem Pjanic. The former had the first bite of the cherry with a superb move from the edge of the area, dribbling one defender on his way to shoot straight at the keeper. Again, Barcelona didn’t have this clinical touch, and it cost them.
A few minutes after Dembélé’s effort, Philippe Coutinho, who had a decent game, passed the ball exquisitely to Trincão, whose questionable finishing didn’t match his excellent movement. He played well with great openings at times, just what Barça need on the wing. Pedri also came on and had a chance after Dembélé ran into space to give a great pass across the face of the goal.
Miralem Pjanic also should’ve won a penalty but the main talking point of the last minutes was a golden chance for Elche to get back on track. Still, thankfully, after horrific defending from the Blaugrana side, Neto put on his hero cloak and saved a shot at point-blank range.
A good victory, where perhaps the fans should’ve seen more goals, but at least there are promising signs. ¡Visca el Barça!
Final score: Barça 1-0 Elche.