March 23, 2023


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Barcelona breeze into the Europa League last 16 with 5-3 aggregate win over Napoli

2 min read

Barcelona stormed through to the Europa League last 16 after completing a commanding 5-3 aggregate victory over Napoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona with a 4-2 triumph on the night.

Following a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou last week, Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong and Gerard Pique were all on target for Xavi’s side during a pulsating first half.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the tie beyond doubt just before the hour mark; rendering Lorenzo Insigne’s first-half penalty and a late Matteo Politano strike nothing more than consolations for the hosts.

Luciano Spalletti’s side, who suffered a first defeat in seven games, became the seventh different Italian outfit to fall victim to the Blaugrana on home soil in major European competition.

Seeking a first away win over Napoli, Barca took the lead in the eighth minute as the pacy Adama Traore launched a swift counter before feeding Alba, who neatly finished past Alex Meret.

The visitors doubled their lead five minutes later. Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s long kick downfield broke kindly for De Jong, who curled a stunning 25-yard effort into the far corner.

The hosts halved the deficit midway through the first half when Insigne slotted home from the penalty spot after Ter Stegen brought down Victor Osimhen in the box.

But the two-goal buffer was restored just before the end of a pulsating opening period. Alba’s cross ricocheted kindly for Pique, who sent a low volley into the bottom-right corner.

Aubameyang put the tie beyond doubt on the hour mark. Fresh from his weekend hat-trick against Valencia, the former Arsenal striker produced a sublime first-time finish into the top-right corner after De Jong neatly dummied Traore’s pass.

Napoli grabbed a consolation four minutes from time by punishing sloppy Barcelona possession with Politano sweeping past Ter Stegen.

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