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Kounde, Lewandowski, Araujo react after Napoli 1-1 Barcelona: “We are sad about the result”

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Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Barcelona squandered a golden opportunity last night as they settled for a 1-1 draw against Napoli, leaving the outcome of the tie in a shaky balance after the first leg in Italy.

The Blaugrana displayed superiority for extended periods during the match, earning a well-deserved 1-0 lead courtesy of Robert Lewandowski’s adept finish.

Remarkably, Barcelona initiated the game with a strong performance, denying the hosts any significant chances in the first half. 

Despite these attempts, the primary concern turned to whether Barcelona could secure that crucial goal. While they were dominant, Lamine Yamal, Ilkay Gundogan, and Lewandowski each had opportunities in the initial half but were unable to convert them into goals.

Eventually, it was the Pole who broke the deadlock, but Victor Osimhen made it 1-1 within 15 minutes. Speaking after the game, defender Jules Kounde said that everyone was very disappointed with the result as they knew the game could have been won.

“Disappointed of course, we played a good game, especially in the first half,” said the defender as quoted by Mundo Deportivo

“Perhaps we have lacked patience in general. In the second half we also started well and the goal rewarded the effort. The goal against was a shame because we controlled the game well.

“It is not a bad result, but because of the game we played, the control we had and the chances we created, we came out disappointed.”

Before the match, midfielder Frenkie de Jong lashed out at journalists for quoting false information and while speaking about it, Kounde said,

“I agree that they tell lies. In that sense you are right. And he has needed to express it and I think he is right. “It’s just that many times things come out that are not true.”

Lastly, the former Sevilla defender also pressed that Napoli have good players, but Barcelona’s collective effort thwarted any sort of threat.

“We had good players in front of us, the team has done a good job because they have not generated much. It is something that must be valued,” he said.

Lewandowski’s take

Robert Lewandowski scored the opening goal of the match. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Goal-scorer Lewandowski argued that the overall performance of the team was really good, especially in the first half, and they should have scored more goals during the match.

“I think we played a good game in the half, where we should have scored one or two goals. After our goal we played a little defensively and they scored on us with the first opportunity they had.”

The Poland international has been slammed for his form this season but the veteran said that he is feeling very good right now and as the team prepare for the business end of the season, he is ready to help the young players.

“I feel very good, we need time to get ready, we have a lot of potential. We have two long weeks to work and prepare for the future.

”We want to take a step forward in the team. It is important with my experience to be able to help these players.”

Araujo will give everything in second leg

Centre-back Ronaldo Araujo had a similar take as Kounde, saying that the result was very disappointing for the team but he did press that they will give their best in the second leg to qualify for the next round.

“The truth is that we are sad about the result, we could leave the field with a victory, we played very well. The first 30 minutes were very good. 

“Then they had possession but they didn’t create chances, the Champions League is like that and you can’t always dominate. We played against a great team and now we play at home with our people. We will give everything to get through to the next round,” he said.

The defender added that considering the quality forwards Napoli have, they did a good job.

“We were doing a good job, their forwards are very good. They had that chance there that the forward scored, a little bad for that goal, but we have to continue. 

“I think we showed that we were a great team and we knew how to compete and now we have a home game with our fans.”

He also mentioned that the game could have been won and since it was a draw, the team left Naples with a bitter taste.

“I think we could have won. We leave with a bitter taste, we could have left here with a victory. But it’s good to draw and play at home, we will give everything. 

“We lacked stopping them and having possession, sometimes we wanted to attack very quickly with the wingers. When we scored the goal we had good ball circulation,” he explained.

Lastly, the Uruguayan affirmed that he is doing fine after a little tussle with Osimhen, saying,

“I’m fine, he hit me in the eye and left me a little dizzy, I’m fine. If I am physically well I can give my best.”

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