Griezmann earns Barcelona 1-1 draw at Napoli

By: AFP      Published: 03:36 AM, 26 Feb, 2020
Griezmann earns Barcelona 1-1 draw at Napoli
Barcelona's French forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg match between SSC Napoli and FC Barcelona at the San Paolo Stadium in Naples. AFP

Antoine Griezmann struck to give Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday.

Dries Mertens curled in from 18 yards in the first half to become Napoli's joint top scorer of all-time, level with Marek Hamsik on 121 goals. But Barcelona equalised after 57 minutes when Antoine Griezmann scored from Nelson Semedo's low cross.

The visitors ended the game with 10 men as Arturo Vidal was sent off late on. In the 89th minute, he fouled Fabian Ruiz, but then, after the Napoli man reacted, Vidal pushed his head into the midfielder's face and was shown two yellow cards in quick succession.

The return match takes place at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 18 March, although the Spanish La Liga leaders will also be without suspended midfielder Sergio Busquets as he picked up his third booking of this season's tournament.

It came early in the second half when, with a foot raised, he caught Mertens, who limped off and had to be replaced shortly afterwards. Barcelona had an injury worry of their own as centre-half Gerard Pique hobbled off in added time at the end of the match with an ankle injury.

Napoli had chances to go into the second leg in Spain with the lead but visiting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two fine saves, denying Lorenzo Insigne and then Jose Callejon.