Napoli 1-1 Barcelona: Catalans get out alive from San Paolo

Dries Mertens opens the scoring but Antoine Griezman equalises

 Antoine Griezmann empató el encuentro entre Barça y Nápoles con un gol a pase de Semedo | Radioestadio

At least it wasn’t another away defeat in the Champions League, although Barcelona were left with concerns after this draw against Napoli in the last 16 first leg.

Ivan San Antonio

@sanantheone

MATCH FACTS

Champions League

NAP

1-1

FCB

NÁPOLES

Ospina, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mario Rui, Fabián, Demme (Allan, 79'), Zielinski, Callejón (Politano, 73'), Mertens (Milik, 53') e Insigne.

BARCELONA

Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué (Lenglet, 92'), Umtiti, Junior, Busquets, De Jong, Rakitic (Arthur, 55'), Vidal, Messi y Griezmann (Ansu Fati, 86').

GOLES

1-0, Mertens (30'). 1-1, Griezmann (57').

ÁRBITRO

Felix Brych (Alemania). T.A.: Insigne (61'), Mario Rui (89')/Busquets (49'), Messi (66'), Griezmann (83'), Arturo Vidal (2) (88' y 88'). T.R: VIdal (88').

INCIDENCIAS

Partido correspondiente a la ida de octavos de la Champions League disputado en el estadio San Paolo ante 50.000 espectadores.

Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal, who was sent off, are suspended, Gerard Pique picked up an ankle injury and that is on top of existing problems for Sergi Roberto, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. But perhaps the worst thing was how difficult it seemed for Barcelona to break down Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli.

The hosts set up in a very defensive format, deep back four, deep midfield four, deep pair of strikers. At times it seemed like they had one goalkeeper and 10 defenders.

And yet they took the lead. The midfield didn’t cut out a ball forward, Junior Firpo was outmuscled and the defence stood off Dries Mertens, who curled home brilliantly for his 121st Napoli goal, equalling Marek Hamsik’s all-time record.

Barcelona created nothing at all in response until Antoine Griezmann’s equaliser, in the 57th minute.

The forward finished nicely after Busquets threaded a pass down the right for Nelson Semedo to fire in a low cross.

The game opened up a bit after that but Barcelona still created little, with Jose Callejon having the best opportunity. He was denied by a brilliant Marc-Andre ter Stegen save.

Barcelona head back to Camp Nou with a favourable result, but worries about whether or not they can go all the way if they play like this.

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