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Sport 'Barca barely tickled us' - Gattuso revels in Napoli's Champions League showing

04:50  26 february  2020
04:50  26 february  2020 Source:   goal.com

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Barcelona " barely tickled " Napoli , according to Gennaro Gattuso , who praised his team' s performance in their 1-1 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday . "I think they barely grazed us tonight, they hardly had a single shot on goal. They could've been there all night and not scored, but we conceded

Napoli fan Floriana Messina put on a strong show of support for her team as they prepared for the visit of Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the crunch Champions League last 16 first-leg encounter Ahead of the showdown with Barca at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday night, the half-Italian, half-Colombian

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Barcelona "barely tickled" Napoli, according to Gennaro Gattuso, who praised his team's performance in their 1-1 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Dries Mertens equalled Napoli's all-time scoring record to put the home side ahead before Antoine Griezmann salvaged toothless Barca a draw approaching the hour mark in the opening leg of the last-16 tie.

Napoli – disciplined and compact in defence – were unfortunate not to take more from the showdown as Lionel Messi and Barca struggled at Stadio San Paolo.

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As for Napoli ’ s Gennaro Gattuso , he did play six times against Barcelona in the Champions League as a player, but there’s not much to be gleaned there either: he won two, drew two and lost two. “When I played against Barca it seemed that they were from another category because they didn’t let you see

As for Napoli ’ s Gennaro Gattuso , he did play six times against Barcelona in the Champions League as a player, but there’s not much to be gleaned there either: he won two, drew two and lost two. “When I played against Barca it seemed that they were from another category because they didn’t let you see

"Since [Barca coach Quique] Setien arrived, they systematically push five or six players into attack, they don't just pass and that's it," Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Napoli v FC Barcelona - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - February 25, 2020  Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso  REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Napoli v FC Barcelona - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - February 25, 2020 Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

"They force you to defend deep and we had to play like that, because if there were spaces back there, they could really hurt us.

"I think they barely grazed us tonight, they hardly had a single shot on goal. They could've been there all night and not scored, but we conceded after one single error. They didn't hurt us, it barely tickled."

Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Napoli v FC Barcelona - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - February 25, 2020  Napoli's Dries Mertens celebrates scoring their first goal with Lorenzo Insigne    REUTERS/Ciro De Luca © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Napoli v FC Barcelona - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - February 25, 2020 Napoli's Dries Mertens celebrates scoring their first goal with Lorenzo Insigne REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

Mertens put Napoli ahead with a curling effort in the 30th minute after some relentless pressing from team-mate Piotr Zielinski.

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As for Napoli ’ s Gennaro Gattuso , he did play six times against Barcelona in the Champions League as a player, but there’s not much to be gleaned there either: he won two, drew two and lost two. “When I played against Barca it seemed that they were from another category because they didn’t let you see

As for Napoli ’ s Gennaro Gattuso , he did play six times against Barcelona in the Champions League as a player, but there’s not much to be gleaned there either: he won two, drew two and lost two. “When I played against Barca it seemed that they were from another category because they didn’t let you see

Napoli had a couple of chances to double their advantage, but Barca managed to equalise via Antoine Griezmann in the 57th minute before Arturo Vidal was sent off late.

"We could've done better on a few counter-attacks, but the team did what we had to do. We allowed them very few opportunities," Gattuso said.

Gallery: UEFA Champions League 2019-20 (Photo Services)

"I am a little disappointed that we didn't create more playing out from the back and in possession, but a little fatigue can happen when you work so hard throughout. Unfortunately, you can't make a single mistake against Barcelona.

"Naturally, qualification is wide open, we will have time to prepare for the second leg and know they will be missing Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal, as they'll be suspended.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Napoli v FC Barcelona - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - February 25, 2020  Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Napoli's David Ospina as he misses a chance to score   REUTERS/Ciro De Luca © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Napoli v FC Barcelona - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - February 25, 2020 Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Napoli's David Ospina as he misses a chance to score REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

"It's our duty to go there and play for qualification. Napoli have many strong players, Barcelona have something more, but if we play with focus then we can have our chances."

Barca will host Napoli in the return leg at Camp Nou on March 18.

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