Ranking Barcelona’s 5 best players against Napoli


Barcelona produced one of their finest performances of the season to secure their place in the Round of 16 of the Europa League on Thursday night. Goals from Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Pique, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang handed Barca a 2-4 (3-5 aggregate) win in the return leg at Napoli.

Following last week’s disappointing 1-1 draw in the first leg of their play-off at the Camp Nou, Xavi’s men needed a convincing performance in Naples. All the stars aligned for the La Liga giants and they found themselves 2-0 up after just 13 minutes of play. The Blaugrana’s industrious left-back Alba applied a right-footed finish to open the scoring in the eighth minute before De Jong doubled Barca’s advantage five minutes later.

The hosts earned a lifeline 10 minutes later when Lorenzo Insigne converted from the spot, but Napoli failed to build on it. Barcelona center-back Gerard Pique applied a sumptuous finish from close range to restore his side’s two-goal cushion just before the half-time whistle.

Former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then latched on to an Adama Traore pass to put Barca three goals to the good in the 59th minute. The Italian giants got another back through Matteo Politano in the 87th minute, but it was merely a consolation at that point. In the end, it was a comfortable win for the Blaugrana, one that they completely deserved.

Here are five Barca players who stood out in their Europa League knockout win over Napoli on Thursday night:

# 5 Pedri

Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga SantanderFC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Santander

Jordi Alba’s last five games for Barcelona: ⚽️ vs. Atlético🅰️ vs. Espanyol❌ vs. Napoli🅰️ vs. Valencia s. vs. Napoli If he’s not assisting, he’s scoring. 😀 #UEL https://t.co/adaUF20Z9j


The Spanish international played a key role in two of the Blaugrana’s four goals on Thursday night. In the eighth minute, he opened the scoring with a composed right-footed finish to put his side ahead. Then, just before half-time, he dispatched a cross towards Pique. It took a fortunate deflection and fell nicely for the center-back, who made no mistake turning it home from close range.

# 3 Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa LeagueFC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League

Ama Adama Traore has registered as many assists in his first four starts since joining Barcelona (4) as his final 71 league appearances for Wolves https://t.co/6mR8X4LI3l

Traore’s second assist came in the second half when he pulled the ball back from the right side of the area for Aubameyang to convert. The Gabonese striker put his foot through and found the back of the net.

# 1 Frenkie de Jong

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Santander

Frenkie de Jong in the first half vs. Napoli: 100% chance conversion87% pass accuracy 41 touches 6 ball recoveries 5 duels contested 4 duels won 3 chances created 2 fouls won 1 tackle 1 goal And one superb finish. 🤩 https://t.co/qx6a6YeSHS

For Aubameyang’s second-half goal, De Jong cleverly stepped over Traore’s pull-back, opening up space for the Gabonese to shoot. The 32-year-old made no mistake rippling the netting.

Apart from the goal and the dummy, De Jong registered three key passes, won four duels, and completed 71 passes with 93.4 percent accuracy. A magical display by the 24-year-old.

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