Published: Fri, February 28, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Busquets and Vidal to miss the second leg against Napoli

Busquets and Vidal to miss the second leg against Napoli

Barcelona came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday as Antoine Griezmann netted a vital away goal in the round-of-16 first leg.

In the match which was played at Naples' San Paolo stadium, the home side took the lead through Dries Mertens.

After a quiet opening, the game burst into life after 30 minutes courtesy of a moment of magic from Mertens.

On a hard evening for Barca, Napoli took the lead on the half-hour mark when Dries Mertens curled a superb effort past Marc-Andre ter Stegen from outside the box.

It nearly doubled its advantage before the interval, but Kostas Manolas flashed a close-range effort past the post.

But Barca breached a well-drilled Napoli defence in the 57th minute when Griezmann fired in a Nelson Semedo cross.

What had been a feisty affair ended with Barca's Arturo Vidal receiving two yellow cards at once to be dismissed and teammate Gerard Pique being substituted after sustaining an ankle injury.

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What does it mean?

Click through the gallery above to see Napoli's all-time leading goalscorers!

Gennaro Gattuso's side were big underdogs heading into the game and are missing key players such as Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Catalans will also be without Sergio Busquets as he also picked a yellow card, suspending him for the next leg at the Nou Camp and hence slimming the midfield further down. There will be the 2nd leg at home, where things will be different. - Mertens scored his 121st goal for Napoli across all competitions, equalling Marek Hamsik as the joint-top scorer in the club's history.

"Nothing is over for us when we're playing the last 16 in the Champions League, not even when we play cards", the Napoli head coach told a news conference following Tuesday's match.

Junior Firpo lost the ball to Piotr Zielinski and the midfielder pulled a pass across to the waiting Mertens, who took a touch just outside the box before curling in a landmark goal, his sixth in seven Champions League games this season. This game was also the first time that a Barcelona player other than the Argentine has managed to score in the knockout stages on the road for the club since Neymar in 2015.

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