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the view of Gundogan, Kvaratskhelia in full doubt… the tops and the flops

Gundogan shines, not Kvaratskhelia. Imago / Panoramic / IMAGO / Antonio Balasco / AFP / PHILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Naples and Barcelona were unable to separate themselves in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League (1-1). Find the Tops and Flops of this meeting.

TOPS

Gundogan is omnipresent

Back in the Barça midfield, Ilkay Gundogan immediately took charge of the game. The German international, active in recovery and always well placed between the lines, often played just forward. His understanding with Pedri was clearly one of the strong points for the Catalan club this Wednesday. The former Manchester City player could even have allowed his team to snatch a valuable victory, but his curling shot at the end of added time flirted with the post.

The 9 at the meeting

This distance duel was expected. And he kept his promises. Unhappy with his first chances, Robert Lewandowski finally found his goalscoring instincts on the hour mark, opening the scoring with a clinical sequence in the area. Fifteen minutes later, the other No.9 changed the course of the match. Long isolated for his return from the CAN, Victor Osimhen spent a lot on the Neapolitan striker front. The Nigeria international was rewarded for his efforts just before his release. His power and composure in this decisive action allowed Naples to obtain a very happy draw.

Meret retarded the delay

Suffering during the first half hour of play, Naples finally resisted Barça’s attacks until the break. Alex Meret particularly distinguished himself, by carrying out a series of saving interventions at the height of Catalan domination. First called upon by Yamal, the Neapolitan goalkeeper had to work in quick succession on attempts from Lewandowski and Gundogan. He is not responsible for the goal conceded in the second period.

Flops

Naples sans ailes

Long powerless in front, Naples notably foiled on the sides. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was particularly disappointed on the left. One more time. Unrecognizable compared to last season, the Georgian international made no difference on his wing. Easily surrounded by Koundé until his exit in the second period. His disappointed expression when he joined the bench illustrates the spleen of a player lacking confidence. Note that his counterpart on the left, Matteo Politano, also delivered an insufficient performance. Active but much too messy.

Rrahmani not reassuring

Manhandled for a large part of the match, Naples still conceded numerous chances during the meeting. Amir Rrahmani, associated with Juan Jesus in the central hinge, was found wanting on several occasions. Clearly guilty on the Barcelona goal, the Kosovar defender completely let go of the marking of Lewandowski, who did not let himself be prayed for. An error which cost the reigning Italian champion dearly.

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