Napoli vs Barcelona: Victor Osimhen dagger steals crucial draw for Neapolitans

Victor Osimhen scores for Napoli against Barcelona | Imago


Osimhen beat Ter Stegen to hand Barcelona a lifeline || Image credit: Imago

Napoli vs Barcelona: Victor Osimhen dagger steals crucial draw for Neapolitans

Faruq Ibrahim 23:12 - 21.02.2024

Victor Osimhen returns with a bang for Napoli, as he scored a crucial equaliser against Barcelona to keep the Partenopeans in the tie.

Super Eagles ace Victor Osimhen returned to action for the first time since returning from AFCON, and he showed why he has been sorely missed, as he scored a late equaliser to earn Napoli a 1-1 draw against Barcelona.

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The Naples-based team hosted Barcelona at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, for the first of the two-legged Champions League tie. Ahead of the match, the Serie A side announced a change in the managerial department, sacking Walter Mazzarri for Francesco Calzona.

How it happened

A first game under new leadership seemingly jaded the hosts, as they struggled in the opening exchanges, with Barcelona dominating play. Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for the visitors just before halftime; however, Napoli soon found their feet, and later in the game, Osimhen scored an equaliser.

Barcelona started the better team, as earlier stated, and threatened to blow Napoli away, but they were missing the bit of quality required to punish the hosts for their tepid opening. 

The visitors kept plugging away, with Pedri and Gundogan pulling the strings in the opposite pockets of Xavi's hybrid 4-2-2-2 formation.

They eventually found the sharpness, and on the hour mark, Pedri threaded the ball through to Lewandowski, who sidestepped before firing through the legs of Stanislas Lobotka, and past Meret. 

The goal created a spark in the hosts and they had their best period in the game, pegging Barcelona back and looking threatening. 

On the 75th-minute mark, Osimhen capitalised on weak defending by Inigo Martinez and slotted the ball past Ter Stegen for an equaliser. 

Napoli pushed for a winner, but the game was eventually settled as a draw. 

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