Napoli – Barcelona: Malaise At The Maradona (1-1)

An enigmatic figure gives his name to the stadium where this first leg occurred. Based on these ninety minutes, both of his former outfits would benefit from such a presence in their ranks.

Tactical analysis and match report by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.

Napoli now have moved on to their third manager this season. The Italian champions have collapsed dramatically in their defense of the Scudetto. Walter Mazzarri returned to the dugout to revive their ailing fortunes. His three month stint barely lasted any longer than that of Rudi Garcia. Only twelve points under his charge from fifteen fixtures in Serie A left the club languishing in ninth spot in the standings. Out of the Coppa Italia, their sole saving grace would be success on the European stage.

Xavi has not lost his job in Catalonia. Yet, he has held up his hands in resignation at the magnitude of his managerial role. His tenure will end just twelve months after retrieval of the LaLiga crown from the Spanish capital. The goodwill for one of Barcelona's icons could not carry him through this year unscathed. The bedrock of their rise to the top in 2023, stability . . .

"Possession as a philosophy is overrated. Possession of the ball as a tool is underestimated." João Cancelo stan (19) [ View all posts ]


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