Barcelona 3-1 Napoli (agg: 4-2): Messi leads Barça through

Barcelona have reached the quarter-finals for the 13th season running after a first-half blitz ended Napoli's hopes.

Highlights: Barcelona 3-1 Napoli
Highlights: Barcelona 3-1 Napoli

First-half goals from Clément Lenglet, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez set up an evening of relative comfort for Barcelona.

Barcelona vs Napoli: as it happened


Match in brief

Barcelona had an early scare – Dries Mertens hitting outside of post with the whistle for kick-off still ringing in the ears – but from the moment Clément Lenglet headed in the opener it was one-way traffic until just before the break. As Barça went through the gears, Napoli were stuck in reverse.

Clément Lenglet heads in the opener
Clément Lenglet heads in the openerGetty Images

Lionel Messi somehow squeezed in a second after a sensational run, and had another chalked off before earning a penalty. As the No10 received treatment, Luis Suárez did a satisfactory impression of his team-mate from the spot as he found the top corner.

In a frantic end to the first half, Lorenzo Insigne struck back with a penalty of his own. Napoli gamely sought a comeback after the restart, with Hirving Lozano's late header against the upright the closest they came. The damage had been done.

Man of the match: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Roberto Martínez, UEFA technical observer: "He was inspirational for Barcelona, on and off the ball. He found a way to score when he had no right to, pure Messi magic. Frankie de Jong was very impressive and ran Messi closest."

Check out every official UEFA Champions League Man of the Match.

Thumbs-up: Lionel Messi
Thumbs-up: Lionel MessiAFP via Getty Images

Graham Hunter, Barcelona reporter

For most of the first half this threatened to be up with the all-time great Messi performances in the UEFA Champions League. Verve, vivacity and a very good goal. But the electricity faded, the second half became attritional and while there's no question which team should have progressed, there's lots of work left if Messi and Co are to reach the summit in Lisbon.

Vieri Capretta, Napoli reporter

Napoli made a strong start to the game, but didn't take their chances and against Barcelona's fire power and Messi in this form it was a job limiting the home side to just three goals. A good performance, but not enough to ever feel they could progress.

Reaction

Quique Setién, Barcelona coach: "This is a first step well taken. The first few minutes Napoli had us working hard. They are a great team. We had to defend with lots of intensity and commitment. If they'd scored again it would have been a big boost for Napoli so our big priority was to defend well. That said, there were some nerves."

Luis Suárez, Barcelona forward: "As the game went on we created more and more chances and went 3-0 up. I guess when they went to 3-1 it gave us something to think about. So in the second half we knew they'd try and pressure us but the way we managed the match was very positive."

Gennaro Gattuso, Napoli coach: "We have a lot to regret, we disappeared for half an hour and conceded incredible goals. I am angry we conceded from a set piece. My players are strong, but to become even better they need to improve in their attitude. I am disappointed, I believe we could have done better."

Luis Suárez fires in from the spot
Luis Suárez fires in from the spotGetty Images

Key stats

  • Barça are through to the quarter-finals for the 13th season running. It is the 18th time overall in the UEFA Champions League era, a record they share with Bayern.
  • Napoli have lost all three of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 ties - the previous two times the team that knocked them out went on to lift the trophy, Chelsea in 2012 and Real Madrid in 2017.
  • Messi has scored 20 goals in Barcelona's last 12 home games in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.
  • Barcelona are unbeaten in a record 36 UEFA Champions League home matches (W32 D4).
  • Lenglet scored his fourth goal of the season for Barcelona, equalling the 25-year-old's best return at club level.
  • Messi made his 142nd UEFA Champions League appearance and is now joint fourth with Raúl González in the all-time list.
First leg highlights: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona
First leg highlights: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona

Line-ups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Rakitić, De Jong; Messi; Súarez (Junior Firpo 90+2), Griezmann (Monchu 84)

Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mário Rui; Fabián Ruiz (Elmas 79), Demme (Lobotka 46), Zieliński (Lozano 70); Callejón (Politano 70), Mertens, Insigne (Milik 79)

What's next?

Barcelona and Bayern meet at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon. Their single-leg quarter-final is scheduled for 21:00 CET on Friday 14 August.