Barca holds off Napoli for 3-1 win, enters Champions League quarter-finals | EUROtoday

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Barcelona survived a nervy second half to beat Napoli 3-1 on Tuesday and attain the Champions League quarter-finals 4-2 on mixture.

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3 min

Xavi Hernandez’s aspect got here flying out of the blocks with objectives from Fermin Lopez and Joao Cancelo however after Amir Rrahmani pulled one again, the Catalans began to sweat.

Italian champions Napoli, who salvaged a 1-1 draw within the last-16 first leg, had been lastly overwhelmed when Robert Lewandowski swept house from shut vary.

It is the primary time five-time winners Barcelona have reached the final eight of the competitors since 2020, and so they did so with out injured midfield trio Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong.

“It was an incredible night, (it’s been) four years without getting where we belong, where the club deserves to be,” Sergi Roberto instructed Movistar.

“The fans backed us — they are very important.”

Xavi mentioned he was leaving on the finish of the season in January and his staff have gone on a run of 9 video games with out defeat after that call.

Teenage stars Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi have been key in that run, and each excelled in opposition to Napoli on an evening which provided some aid to Barcelona amid a bleak season.

Centre-back Cubarsi, 17, acquired the higher of Napoli ahead Victor Osimhen.

“He’s incredible, he was the game’s best player,” added Sergi Roberto.

“He doesn’t stop surprising us, in the last 16 and playing this way, he’s a player who can be here for his whole life.”

Xavi demanded the followers flip their short-term Olympic Stadium house on the town’s Montjuic hill right into a strain cooker, and so they duly obliged. Over 50,000 spectators marked the membership’s largest attendance this season.

Francesco Calzona’s Napoli wilted because the Spanish champions got here out of the blocks flying.

Fast begin

Electric 16-year-old winger Yamal made sturdy inroads down the precise and curled over within the opening levels.

The finest probabilities fell to Lopez and the 20-year-old opened the scoring along with his third try after quarter-hour.

Cancelo fed Raphinha who reduce the ball again into the realm for Lopez, who tucked house.

While he could lack the metronomic precision of Pedri, the midfielder supplies thrust and an insatiable want to shoot.

Two minutes later and the Catalans doubled their lead in opposition to the shellshocked guests, with Yamal beginning the transfer by breaking free in his personal half on the counter-attack.

The winger performed in Raphinha and though the Brazilian hit the put up Cancelo was operating in to roll house the rebound.

Napoli battled their manner again in when Matteo Politano slipped in down the precise, with Ronald Araujo enjoying him onside.

The Italy winger crossed for Rrahmani who slotted house cleanly to drag Napoli again into the tie.

Napoli had been virtually stage moments later however Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an excellent save, tipping over Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s header.

The Italians began the second half strongly, with Barcelona compelled again into their very own half, aimlessly clearing the ball.

Xavi took motion by bringing on Sergi Roberto and Oriol Romeu for Lopez and Andreas Christensen, aiming to clean up the midfield and provides his staff new impetus.

Raphinha and Lewandowski drew saves from Alex Meret earlier than Yamal struck from shut vary, however he was offside.

Danish winger Jesper Lindstrom headed narrowly large for Napoli, earlier than Lewandowski settled the tie after Ilkay Gundogan and Sergi Roberto mixed to set him up.

Second-half jitters confirmed Barcelona are removed from their former glory however within the dynamic Yamal, Raphinha and Cancelo they’ve the standard going ahead to bother any potential quarter-final opponent.