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“I Will Be Honest. Barcelona Played Well” Humble Spalletti Applauds Barcelona

Written by Dare Solomon 

Napoli were crushed 4-2 by Barcelona at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in their Europa League playoff knockout fixture which sent the Italian side out of the competition.

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The visitors scored two quick early goals to put Napoli in a difficult situation and despite their response before the end of the first half, Barcelona refused to drop their guard in the second half ensuring similar outcome as the first half.

Barcelona were sensational in the first half and needed just eight minutes to take the lead in the tie. A truly dreadful Napoli corner was pounced on by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who led a quick break. The striker then found Adama Traore who ran straight at the Napoli defenders before laying it off to Jordi Alba to finish expertly.


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Five minutes later Frenkie de Jong added to the worries of Napoli when he bent home a shot from the from outside the penalty area to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Lorenzo Insigne in the 23rd minutes gave the home fans a lifeline after Ter Stegen came rushing off his line to close down Osimhen but clipped the Nigerian forward and the Italian made no mistake from the spot.

Before the end of halftime, Barcelona restored their two goal lead. Pique swiveled and struck that ball into the corner via the post with his left foot. A crucial goal at an ideal time for the Catalans.

Adama Traore was once again involved as he crossed from the right, Frenkie de Jong stepped over the ball and Aubameyang fired into the top corner.

Napoli did get the ball in the back of the net again late on through Politano after Nico was caught in possession inside his own penalty area but it was to prove only a consolation for the hosts on a great night for Xavi and his men.

Meanwhile….

Napoli coach in his interview with SkySports admitted to Barcelona’s dominance and victory as he felt disappointed by his team’s display despite the energetic atmosphere created by the fans on the night.

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“We have to be honest, they made far fewer mistakes than we did in possession. We made more mistakes than we are accustomed to, but Barcelona did really well in moving the ball around,” Spalletti said.

“They were also aided by the initial incident on the corner, then De Jong curling it into the top corner, which made it all more difficult.

“It’s very disappointing, because we had a real Napoli atmosphere tonight, we worked so hard for everyone to be back here together again and it leaves us doubly disappointed. Perhaps it’s even more disappointing than the result.”

“We paid the consequences this evening because we were brave and went forward to face them, we could’ve just sat back and tried to go on the counter, but we didn’t.

“We felt sure that Maradona was watching this game and we wanted to be up to the occasion.” Footballitalia relayed.

With Lazio and Napoli going out of the Europa League, Spalletti was asked how he sees Italian club football on the continental stage.

“I see Italian football evolving, because building out from the back, playing with a high press, I see many teams with a more ferocious, positive and attacking approach.

“If you compare it with the financial capabilities of some foreign clubs, like Napoli with Barcelona or Lazio with Porto, we must realise that it’s a more even fight if we have all our players available. If a couple are missing, we don’t have the same resources.

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