Lewandowski 8.5, Pedri 7.5 | Napoli 1-1 Barcelona: Player ratings

Date:

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 21: Giovanni Di Lorenzo of SSC Napoli is fouled by Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona leading to a yellow card being shown during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between SSC Napoli and FC Barcelona at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on February 21, 2024 in Naples, Italy.
Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

A tense affair in Naples ends with neither Barcelona nor Napoli emerging victorious. The Catalan giants were arguably the better team for much of the game, and should have done better with their chances.

However, missed chances coupled with one great defensive error, FC Barcelona ended up with no advantage away from home. Xavi will however be happy with the way his team played.

While the decision-making was questionable in attack, it was a strong display of players knowing exactly what they have to do. Next up will be the second leg at the Montjuic Stadium, but Barcelona will have to wait for that.

Here is how the Barcelona players fared in the 1-1 draw against Napoli:

Player Ratings:

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 6.5

In all honesty, the German goalkeeper was hardly tested by Napoli in the game. His defense provided him comfort, and so did the rather lackluster coordination of the Italian side whenever they attacked. Solid outing for him, but Victor Osimhen did put a sour taste in.

Joao Cancelo: 7.0

The Portuguese fullback created a lot of danger for Barcelona from that left-back position. Whether it be through his trivelas or well-timed runs, the Manchester City loanee was constantly putting Napoli on the back foot.

Inigo Martinez: 7.0

An absolute lieutenant in defense, the Spaniard showed his experience. Whenever the primary danger men of Napoli surged forward, Martinez made sure to let them know that they will not get a second to breathe whether it be through fouls or rough clearances and tackles. He did, however, commit the fatal error that ended up costing Barcelona.

Ronald Araujo: 7.5

The Uruguayan, right alongside Martinez, showed proper leadership. Constantly thwarting any and all Napoli attempts to dismantle the Barcelona high line, Araujo played some clever offside traps and used his pace to cut off any passes that did end up going through.

Jules Kounde: 7.5

Defensively aware and always positioning himself correctly, Jules Kounde was great as the right-back. His passing and distribution, coupled with his good positioning, allowed Barça to get out of a lot of unappealing positions.

Andreas Christensen: 6.5

In the second half, in particular, Andreas Christensen showcased some strong recovery tackles. These allowed Barcelona to carve open space for themselves, and also put Napoli in dangerous situations. However, his touch was quite poor in a lot of promising positions, and that cost Barça on several occasions.

Frenkie De Jong: 7.0

Acting as the main catalyst in a lot of moments to help Barcelona progress the ball, Frenkie De Jong was classy on the night. His understanding of where his teammates always were allowed Barcelona to fully maximize the danger they could create in the game.

Ilkay Gundogan: 7.5

Despite not being on the scoresheet, Ilkay Gundogan was easily Barça’s most progressive midfielder. At times, his runs almost felt like those of a proper central attacker, and they allowed Barcelona to create a lot more passing options. He was equally as inventive within the midfield region as well.

Pedri: 7.5

Another magical display by Pedri, the young Spaniard bossed the midfield. His control, first touch, passing, and eye for lethal passes were all crucial for Barcelona to continue piling on the pressure on Napoli. It was ultimately his defense-splitting pass that allowed the Catalan giants to score first.

Robert Lewandowski: 8.5

It seems that the Polish striker truly is coming back to his best levels. His control was strong, his understanding of the movement of his teammates was precise, and his finishing was actually a wonder to behold. From the most tightest of angles, he took Pedri’s pass and turned it into something quite special with his goal.

Lamine Yamal: 6.5

A rather lethargic performance from Lamine Yamal, he was not his usual self. Seems to be lacking the confidence to play at the big European stage, but the youngster seemed a lot more reserved than his usual electric self and it cost Barcelona in terms of their speed of play.

Substitutes:

Oriol Romeu: N/A

Not enough time or influence on the field to warrant a rating.

Raphinha: N/A

Not enough time or influence on the field to warrant a rating.

Joao Felix: N/A

Not enough time or influence on the field to warrant a rating.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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