Football Features

“The Frenkie show!” – Player ratings as brilliant Barcelona blow Napoli away 2-4 in the Europa League

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:20, 24 February 2022 | Updated: 19:24, 24 November 2022

In a stunning night of football, Xavi’s Barcelona blew Napoli away 2-4 in the Europa League.

The win was Barcelona’s best performance for years and their most dominant away display in Europe since they beat PSG 1-3 in 2015. Xavi has really got the Blaugrana looking like their old selves again.

Here’s how the players rated at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona:


Alex Meret – 5 – Helpless on all four Barcelona goals, albeit he did go down very slowly on Piqué’s finish.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 6 – Handled himself excellently 1-v-1 but couldn’t handle the positional play and movement of Ferran Torres.

Amir Rrahmani – 4 – Completely lost trying to handle Barcelona’s movement. Very lucky to not be exposed more.

Kalidou Koulibaly – 7 – Another monstrous display, this time including many forward runs where he looked Napoli’s best option to provide thrust. That Barcelona only scored four times was a testament to the Senegalese.

Mario Rui – 6 – Got cooked by Adama early, but recovered to combat him consistently. Took some hard hits but never gave up.

Diego Demme – 4 – Had absolutely no answer for Barcelona’s pressing and passing. Put himself about for sure, but was completely and utterly overwhelmed every time the Blaugrana were in possession. Subbed off at half-time.

Fabian Ruiz – 6 – A better display than he managed in Camp Nou, but still no match for the Blaugrana midfield.

Elif Elmas – 5 – Nowhere near as bright as he was last week. Somehow got dominated by Jordi Alba.

Piotr Zielinski – 5 – Stuck on the defensive all night. Worked hard but Napoli needed him to be going forward not back.

Lorenzo Insigne – 7 – Tried his hardest to make things happen. Forced the penalty with a great forward pass and then stepped up to score it superbly. Alas he couldn’t make anything happen.

Victor Osimhen – 6 – Played more intelligently than he did last week but couldn’t really get the best of Piqué or Araujo. Did force a moment of sheer lunacy from Ter Stegen, but besides that he was nowhere.

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Napoli Substitutes:

Matteo Politano(for Demme 46′) – 7 – Added a bit of cut and thrust to Napoli, and profited from some sloppy Barcelona defending with a nice strike to give Napoli a consolation second strike.

Fouazi Ghoulam (for Osimhen 74′) – 5 – Didn’t add much.

Dries Mertens (for Zielinski 74′) – 6 – Pressed a dawdling Nico well to force Napoli’s second.

Adam Ounas (for Fabian Ruiz 74′) – 5 – Ran a lot to little effect.

Andrea Petagna (for Insigne 82′) – 5 – Poor.

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Marc-André Ter Stegen – 4 – Baffling error in judgement to needlessly race out from his goal and concede a penalty by fouling Osimhen. He played well besides that, but what a shocking mistake!

Sergino Dest – 8 – Magnificent. Shut down any and every attempt by Napoli to penetrate down his flank and even made some superb covering tackles to save his team-mates.

Ronald Araujo – 7 – Handled the threat of Osimhen with utmost assurance.

Gerard Piqué – 8 – Defended really well despite being outmatched for pace by Osimhen. Scored a sublime goal to re-establish Barcelona’s two-goal lead late in the first-half. Looks so much more commanding under Xavi’s leadership.

Jordi Alba – 9 – 1 goal, 1 assist (well, kind of), 4 tackles and 3 interceptions. This was Jordi Alba’s best game in a Barcelona shirt for literally years. While his defending was uncharacteristically dogged and determined, his goal was as brilliant as it was baffling, with the left-back leading the counter-attack after a Napoli corner and finishing sharply with his right-foot. Truly awesome.

Sergio Busquets – 8 – This was vintage Busquets as the Catalan ran the show from midfield. Misplaced just two passes all night (52/54 completed) and barely broke a sweat as he strolled about the pitch.

Frenkie de Jong – 9 – The kind of display Barcelona fans have been dreaming of from Frenkie. The Dutch dynamo covered almost every blade of grass in a relentless display, finding space between Napoli’s lines and just killing them repeatedly.

Frenkie also scored an absolutely stunning goal to double Barcelona’s lead, and his dummy for the Blaugrana’s fourth was fabulous, and he completed 71/76 passes (93% success) while creating 3 chances. This was the Frenkie show!

Pedri – 8 – Not quite at his match dominant best but played his part, with Frenkie flying he just quietly moved around the pitch filling in gaps, keeping things ticking over. An astonishingly mature display from a midfielder yet to turn 20.

Adama Traoré – 8 – In Diego Maradona’s back garden, Adama Traoré paid homage to the Argentine with a dancing display full of delirious dribbling. Napoli couldn’t live with his movement and skill as the Catalan bagged two assists on the night with two beautifully placed crosses.

Ferran Torres – 7 – Still not found his shooting boots, but the intelligence of his game and the way he links the play and presses ferociously makes him so useful for Xavi’s team.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – A near-constant threat at the head of the pitch. His movement and driving pace terrified Napoli and forced Koulibaly to be at his best to keep him in check. Missed two presentable chances in the first-half but continued his goalscoring form with an utterly outrageous finish to make it 1-4. Auba is finally at an elite club and he is happy and thriving.


Gavi (for Busquets 62′) – 7 – Put himself about (a bit too much, picking up a sloppy yellow to rule himself out of the next game) and also kept the ball with the utmost confidence. Still just 17, remember!

Ousmane Dembélé (for Adama 74′) – 5 – Didn’t do too much.

Luuk de Jong (for Aubameyang 75′) – 5 – Came on and missed his only chance.

Nico Gonzalez (for Pedri 75′) – 5 – Played well, got involved and was dynamic, but got caught dawdling in his own box by Dries Mertens.

Riqui Puig (for Ferran 82′) – 6 – Came on late. Kept the ball superbly. Set-up De Jong for what should have been a goal.