Barcelona came flying out the traps in the second leg of their Europa League play-off against Napoli.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in Catalonia, setting up the match in Naples on Thursday evening perfectly.
But the tie quickly swung in Barcelona’s favour as they stormed into a 2-0 lead inside the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Jordi Alba put the Blaugrana 1-0 up, the left-back finishing off a sweeping counterattack that involved January signings Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Video: Alba’s counterattack goal vs Napoli
— K A K O N (@Kaakon007) February 24, 2022
Five minutes after the opener, Xavi Hernandez’s side went 2-0 ahead and this time it was Frenkie de Jong who found the back of the net.
It was an absolute stunner from the Dutchman as well.
The midfielder maestro picked up possession in the middle of the park, approached the box with purpose and then whipped the ball into the corner from distance with such precision that Alex Meret in the Napoli goal didn’t even move.
Check out the remarkable goal here…
Video: De Jong’s stunner vs Napoli
You won’t see a more aesthetically-pleasing goal than that. What a strike by De Jong!
Barcelona didn’t hold on to their 2-0 lead for long, though.
Just 10 minutes after De Jong silenced the Napoli fans with a stunner, Lorenzo Insigne raised the roof by scoring from the penalty spot after Marc-Andre ter Stegen fouled Victor Osimhen inside the box.
But Barcelona managed to restore their two-goal advantage in the final minute of the first half through veteran centre-back Gerard Pique, who finished like a striker inside the box after the hosts failed to properly clear a corner kick.
Video: Pique’s goal vs Napoli
Aubameyang then made absolutely sure of victory in the second half with a sublime goal of his own to make it 4-1, Traore assisting for the fourth time in as many starts.
Video: Aubameyang’s goal vs Napoli
Not a bad way to follow-up a hat-trick against Valencia last weekend, eh?
Substitute Matteo Politano pulled one back for Napoli in the final 10 minutes of play, but the damage had already been done and Barcelona will be in Friday’s Europa League round of 16 draw.