Lionel Messi climbs the heights to sink Napoli and reserve the passage of Barcelona | Soccer


Barcelona are over, but that was pretty much all you could say about them. Quique Setien’s side – although fair, if reports from Catalonia are to be believed – progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals thanks in large part to the individual brightness of Lionel Messi and debauchery of their opponents. And yet, in doing so, they looked leaden and responsive, rambling and disenchanted, producing a performance that will embolden rather than impress their remaining rivals in the competition.In a way, it was modern Barcelona in the microcosm: more than enough for the average mid-table contender, and yet weighty and largely responsive to a hard-hitting attack pattern and an opponent determined to keep them. the ball. This is why they were beaten to the La Liga title by Real Madrid and why, barring a dramatic improvement in form, are still likely to suffer their first trophy-less season since 2008.


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