UEFA Champions League UCL: Osimhen On Target As Napoli Share Spoils With Barca

Victor Osimhen cancelled out Robert Lewandowski’s goal for Barcelona in hos forget game for Napoli after the AFCON 2023 as Napoli battled back to hold visiting Barcelona to a sombre 1-1 draw in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday.

Both of last season’s struggling Spanish and Italian champions, as well as their opponents, were toothless and lacked attacking flair in this dreadful contest.

Barcelona, who are currently third in La Liga, outperformed a disorganised Napoli team, barely managing to escape their own half, in the first half.

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While Napoli, under the direction of new coach Francesco Calzona, was languishing tenth in the domestic standings and had virtually collapsed from their Serie A championship defence, Barcelona was playing their first Champions League knockout match in three years.

Barca’s intense pressing annoyed Napoli, as they made poor passes and let the ball go to the visitors, who also lacked creativity while in control of the ball.

Lamine Yamal, a 16-year-old who made his Champions League knockout debut, was attempting to become the youngest goal scorer in the competition when he missed an early attempt and had a long-range strike stopped by keeper Alex Meret.

For Barcelona, Ilkay Gundogan missed two shots before Lewandowski of Poland broke the tie in the sixtyth minute.

Just inside the box, Pedri passed the ball to him, and he made room to fire a bullet strike into the lower corner of the net.

That jarred Napoli, and 15 minutes later, in his first match since the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigerian Osimhen equalised with a brilliant swerving strike from inside the box, leaving the tie evenly poised ahead of the March 12 return leg in Spain.

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