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Napoli hold Barcelona to tense draw, Osimhen steals late equalizer

Napoli snatched a dramatic 1-1 draw against Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 first leg, leaving the tie wide open heading to the Camp Nou. Victor Osimhen’s stunning late equalizer canceled out Robert Lewandowski’s goal, giving the Partenopei hope despite being dominated for much of the game.

Under their new manager Francesco Calzona, Napoli struggled initially against Barcelona’s relentless pressing. Lamine Yamal and Lewandowski both threatened early, while the hosts failed to register a single shot in the first half.

After the break, the Azzurri showed more fight. Politano had an early effort, but Barca remained in control. The deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark – Pedri found Lewandowski in the box, and the Polish striker coolly slotted home.

Despite being outplayed for most of the match, Napoli never gave up. In the 75th minute, Osimhen produced a moment of magic. With his back to goal, he received the ball in the box, spun brilliantly, and fired past Marc-André ter Stegen to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

The goal energized Napoli, but neither side could find a winner. Calzona will be relieved to leave with a draw after such a challenging performance, while Xavi must be frustrated at his side’s inability to see out the victory. They now face a crucial second leg at the Camp Nou if they want to continue their quest for a 14th consecutive Champions League quarter-final appearance.

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