Antoine Griezmann praises his equalizer in Naples Antoine Griezmann’s second-half equalizer counteracted a fine opener from Napoli’s Dries Mertens to give Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Naples and the high ground in their Champions League last-16 tie.
Mertens had capitalized on the Italian club’s strong begin to twist home an exertion following 30 minutes. Be that as it may, after the midfielder was constrained off with injury following a substantial test from Sergio Busquets, Barcelona drew level when Griezmann lashed the ball in from short proximity.
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Barça completed with 10 men after Arturo Vidal was indicated two fast yellow cards following a handle on Mario Rui and afterward driving his head into the substance of the Napoli man during the end stages. Lionel Messi, who scored four goals in the 5-0 win over Eibar which put Barcelona top of La Liga, sent an early possibility over before Napoli made the most of a breakaway as Mertens cleared them in front.
Piot Zielinski won belonging from Junior Firpo and ran after the privilege before cutting the ball over the edge of the Barcelona zone, Mertens took a touch before twisting a brilliant completion over a static Marc André Ter Stegen and into the top corner an goal which saw the Belgian become Napoli’s joint record scorer, level on 121 goal.
Barcelona searched for a quick reaction before half-time yet neglected to extend the home guard or test the goalkeeper David Ospina. The Partenopei could have been further ahead following 42 minutes when a free-kick was just incomplete cleared, Fabian Ruiz took care of José Callejón and his cross was terminated only wide by focus back Kostas Manolas.
Barça turned out with greater force toward the beginning of the subsequent half. Busquets got Mertens with a high handle which saw the guarded midfielder indicated a yellow card and the Belgian in the long run stumbled off, to be supplanted by Arkadiusz Milik in the 54th moment.
Napoli kept on being pushed back by Barcelona’s press and Griezmann evened out following 57 minutes. Nelson Semedo beat the offside snare from Busquets’ pass when he dashed into the correct side of the zone and crossed for the French World Cup victor to crush the ball in from short proximity.
Napoli, who completed second in Group E behind Liverpool, before long compromised once more. Lorenzo Insigne meshed his way into the left of the Barcelona region and constrained Ter Stegen into a low spare. The German was alert again to fall off his line and square from Callejón.
At the opposite end Messi hoped to jump on the finish of a trade with Vidal and slammed into Ospina as the Napoli attendant made a bold spare, which saw the two players need treatment.
Umtiti headed over a corner from Messi before Vidal saw red, which means he will be suspended for the arrival at the Camp Nou one month from now. Gerard Piqué additionally limped off during stoppage time with what resembled a lower leg issue.