Napoli 1-1 Barcelona: Antoine Griezmann cancels Dries Mertens’ opener because Arturo Vidal is broadcast and Lionel Messi does not write history in Naples
- Dries Mertens gave Napoli the lead with a sublime strike but was injured in the second half
- Antoine Griezmann was present to level the scores early in the second half with a finish in the top corner
- Arturo Vidal was sent in the 88th minute in two seconds for two bookable offenses
Antoine Griezmann’s second half of the equalizer gave Barcelona a vital away match and earned them a 1-1 draw in Napoli in their Champions League final-16 first leg-encounter on Tuesday.
A magnificent curling strike by Dries Mertens brought the home team forward in the first half and saw the Belgian draw with Marek Hamsik as Napoli’s all-time top scorer in all competitions with 121 goals.
But Barca broke a well-pierced Napoli defense after the break when Griezmann shot in a Nelson Semedo cross.
The visitors closed the game with 10 men after Arturo Vidal was sent on the field late for taking two yellow cards in quick succession.
The two sides, who faced each other for the first time, will meet again in Camp Nou on March 18 for the second leg.
The Belgian midfielder gave the hosts the lead with a fantastic attack in the upper corner in half an hour
Antoine Griezmann was ready for the Catalans early in the second half with a new finish on the corner
Napoli: Ospina, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Rui, Fabian, Demme, Zielinski, Callejon (Politano 74), Mertens (Milik 54), Insignia
Subs not used: Meret, Allan, Elmas, Luperto, Hysaj
Scorers: Mertens (30)
booked: Insignia, Rui
Barcelona: ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Pique (Lenglet 90), Umtiti, Firpo, Busquets, Rakitic (Arthur 56), de Jong, Vidal, Messi, Griezmann (Fati 86)
Subs not used: Neto, Puig, Araujo, Akieme
Scorers: Griezmann (57)
booked: Busquets, Messi
Red card: Vidal
Referee: Felix Brych