Amadeu Garcia

Updated Wednesday, February 21, 2024-23:00

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Soccer is a capricious sport. The big prize, the goal, can be reached in many ways. Some need to have a thousand chances to achieve it. For others, just a clear arrival is enough. This was witnessed by Barça and Naples in the first leg of the round of 16.

Robert Lewandowski

was in charge of breaking the 0-0 score, transforming the umpteenth arrival of the Blaugrana. For


, meanwhile, it was enough to have a clear chance, fighting with

Íñigo Martínez

, to score the final tie.

[Narrative and statistics (1-1)]

The Blaugrana can take the minimum consolation of the good feelings from this duel of champions who, now, are going through low hours. And, also, the opportunity to solve everything in Montjuïc. With its people, but without room for error.

The first half hour of play at the Diego Armando Maradona had a great protagonist:

Alex Meret

. The Naples goalkeeper had to multiply again and again to prevent Barça's multiple arrivals from ending up breaking the tie on the scoreboard. The visitors, tremendously comfortable with the ball, forced the Italian goalkeeper to work hard to thwart a shot from

Lamine Yamal

, a brilliant shot from Lewandowski and a tremendous shot from

Gündogan that embodied


's best options

to go into the break at least with a goal in the bag. The Barcelona fans pressed the exit attempts and knew how to pamper the ball to look for the best options.

Loss of effervescence

In defense, in addition, Xavi's men also controlled the attacks of a lost rival very well. Until, in the final stretch of the first half, coinciding with a loss of effervescence from the rival, Napoli began to hover more insistently around

Ter Stegen

. An insistence that, despite everything, would have little reward: a shot by




ended up sending for a corner.

The feeling of having had it in hand and not having taken advantage of their options to express their superiority could have taken its toll on Barça in the second half. His return to the grass after the break, in fact, did not initially exactly have good feelings for the outcome.


's team

jumped onto the field ready to take the game one step further and caused the duel to take on a much more even aspect.

Osimhen controls a ball, on Wednesday at Maradona.AFP

The feeling that everyone conveyed was that whoever was first able to score would end up winning. Each one, with his own weapons. Barça, with more elaboration. Napoli, looking for overflow due to speed and hanging balls into the area. The coin apparently thrown into the air, in the end, ended up making the Blaugrana smile. Again, through a Lewandowski who is still on a roll.

The Pole took perfect advantage of a successful assist from


to break the wall that Meret had planted in his goal and put the long-sought 0-1 on the scoreboard. The locals, urged by the urgency after the blow received, tried to respond by surrounding Ter Stegen's area again, trying to break up the defense.

And he tried so hard that Osimhen found the 1-1 prize by using his physicality to unbalance Íñigo Martínez and create the necessary space to send the home team's first shot on goal into the net. The tie emboldened Napoli who tightened the screws on Xavi's team, but nothing could make the score move again. Montjuïc will have to pass sentence.