Barcelona cannot go beyond a draw against Napoli in the Champions League

NAPLES.- The match was advertised as a duel of the center forwards Robert Lewandowski and Victor Osimhen. No one missed the appointment with the goal when they scored on Wednesday in the 1-1 draw between Barcelona and Naples for the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League.

Lewandowski defined with a shot that slipped between the legs of the Neapolitan captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo and hit the near post in the 60th minute. The Polish attacker scored his 93rd goal in Europe’s top club competition.

Fifteen minutes later, Osimhen responded by finishing near the penalty area after leaving defender Íñigo Martínez sprawled on the floor. The Nigerian striker scored his sixth goal in Napoli’s last six home games in the Champions League.

Barça was largely dominant, particularly in the first half. But they did not know how to subdue a team that had only changed coaches last Monday.

“We needed to compete and calm the game with that result,” said Barça coach Xavi Hernández. “We should have slept on it, but this is the Champions League and they scored a goal with their first shot on goal.”

Except for Osimhen’s goal, Napoli showed very little in the debut of new coach Francesco Calzona, who was hired by the struggling reigning Serie A champion. Osimhen played his first game for Napoli after his return from the African Cup of Nations , where he was part of the Nigerian team that lost the final to the Ivory Coast.

Long wait for Barcelona:

It was Barça’s first game in the knockout phase after failing in the group stage of the last two editions. Lionel Messi was still part of the team the last time they reached the round of 16.

“The result does not prove us right,” commented Xavi. “We have been good in all aspects of the game, but after the goal we have not been good. We had to control and we have suffered. We have not been effective, a summary of the season.”

The second leg will be played on March 12 in Spain.