- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Napoli - FC Barcelona
Follow the Champions League live Football match between Napoli and FC Barcelona with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:00 on 25 February 2020.
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Napoli 1-1 Barcelona An excellent result for Barcelona, who dominated possession yet scored with their only shot on target. Napoli defended immaculately for 99.9 per cent of the match and took the lead with a belter from Dries Mertens. But the 0.1 per cent, Antoine Griezmann's superb equaliser, is likely to prove decisive in this tie.
... anod nothing comes of it.
Mario Rui wins a later corner for Napoli...
- OffGerard PiquéFC Barcelona
- OnClément LengletFC Barcelona
Pique walks gingerly from the field, to be replaced by Clement Lenglet.
Pique lands awkwardly on his left ankle after jumping for a high ball. He looks in a lot of pain and won't be able to continue.
Five minutes of added time. Barcelona will be without Busquets and Vidal in the second leg.
- Red cardArturo VidalFC Barcelona
VIDAL IS SENT OFF! He receives two yellow cards in the same incident. The first was for a late challenge on Mario Rui, the second for going head to head with Rui, who was also booked for his part in the whole shemozzle.
- OffAntoine GriezmannFC Barcelona
- OnAnsu FatiFC Barcelona
Barcelona sub: Ansu Fati replaces Griezmann.
Barcelona break down the other end, where Arthur drives over the bar from 25 yards.
Napoli are starting to threaten again on the break. Politano's lofted pass is kneed behind for a coner by Busquets. Insigne's corner is helped on dangerously at the near post and cleared by a stretching defender at the far.
A half chance for Napoli. Zielinski's clever header comes to Insigne on the left side of the box. He works the ball onto his right foot and tries to bend it into the far corner but gets too much on the shot and it goes a few yards wide.
- Yellow cardAntoine GriezmannFC Barcelona
Griezmann is booked for a cynical foul.
Messi cuts in from the right, wriggles past three players and looks set to give the football world another orgasm when the last man Maksimovic makes a vital tackle.
- OffDiego DemmeNapoli
Another Napoli change: Allan replaces Demme.
Napoli have been pinned in their own half for the last 10 minutes or so. They miss the pace of Mertens on the break.
Messi's inswinging corner is headed over from a couple of yards by Umtiti, who flattens Ospina in the process. He couldn't quite get over the ball to head it down into the net.
Chance for Barcelona! Vidal picks up a loose ball on the edge of the area and finds Messi, whose shot on the turn is crucially blocked by Maksimovic.
- OffJosé CallejónNapoli
- OnMatteo PolitanoNapoli
Napoli substitution: Matteo Politano replaces Jose Callejon.
That equaliser has taken the wind out of Napoli's sails. Barcelona look much more relaxed, knowing that 1-1 would be a very satisfactory score to take back to the Nou Camp.
- Yellow cardLionel MessiFC Barcelona
Messi is booked for that foul on Ospina.
The game has come alive! Messi produces a lovely bit of skill to lose two players just outside the D before stabbing a pass to Vidal on the right of the area. He tries to return the favour with a low cross to the near post that just evades the sliding Messi. He follows through with his studs to hit the keeper Ospina, and there's a break in play while he receives treatment.
ter Stegen makes a brilliant save! Napoli should have gone back in front. Busquets played a loose pass that was intercepted by Zielinski and pushed forward to Milik on the edge of the area. He slid it to the right to put Callejon through on goal, and his shot was superbly blocked by the outrushing ter Stegen. He really flew from his line to narrow the angle.
- Yellow cardLorenzo InsigneNapoli
Insigne is booked for something or other.
Good save from ter Stegen! Insigne wriggles past Pique and Vidal on the left wing, zips into the area and hits a low shot that is pushed away by the diving ter Stegen. That's a good save because he was partially unsighted.
That was Barcelona's first shot on target, and it has completely changed the mood of the tie.
That's the first time in the entire match that Barcelona have been able to play through the Napoli defence.
- GoalAntoine GriezmannFC Barcelona
GOAL! Napoli 1-1 Barcelona (Griezmann) A superb equaliser from Barcelona! Busquets slides a brilliant angled pass to release Semedo on the right, and his low ball across the area is slammed into the root of the net by Griezmann. That was a lovely team goal.
- OffIvan RakiticFC Barcelona
- OnArthurFC Barcelona
Barcelona substitution: Arthur replaces Ivan Rakitic.
- OffDries MertensNapoli
- OnArek MilikNapoli
The goalscorer Mertens limps off to be replaced by Arek Milik.
Mertens is really struggling. He's gone down again and it looks like he's coming off.
Messi quickens the pace and finds the overlapping Semedo, whose cross is overhit.
Mertens is limping after that tackle, though he is going to try to continue.
- Yellow cardSergio BusquetsFC Barcelona
Sergio Busquets is out of the second leg! He was booked for a high tackle on Mertens, who kicked the bottom of Busquets' boot and went down in agony. A yellow card was a fair decision.
The second half has started as the first finished, with Barcelona repeatedly running into a light blue brick wall.
- 2nd Half
Peep peep! Napoli begin the second half.
- End of 1st Half
It's catennacio 1-0 tiki-taka at the end of an intriguing first half. Napoli, whose defensive organisation will be used in coaching seminars in years to come, restricted Barcelona to one half-chance all half. They had only one half-chance of their own, but Dries Mertens produced a bit of swaggering brilliance to give them the lead.
Chance for Manolas! That was almost 2-0 to Napoli. A free-kick on the left was headed away to Mario Rui, 35 yards from goal. He curled a booming cross beyond the far post towards Callejon, who cushioned a volley back into the middle. Manolas got in front of his man at the near post, but his instinctive stabbed shot went just wide.
Napoli continue to shuffle from side to side, like rows of aliens in Space Invaders, every time Barcelona have the ball. It's brazen catenaccio, but it's working a treat.
Thus far, Napoli have done an immaculate number on Barcelona.
- GoalDries MertensNapoli
GOAL! Napoli 1-0 Barcelona (Mertens) Dries Mertens gives Napoli the lead with a majestic finish! It came out of nothing, with Napoli suddenly finding themselves three against two after a slight mistake from Junior Firpo. Zielinski screwed a perceptive pass across the edge of the area to find Mertens, who moved the ball onto his right foot and curled an extravagant shot into the far top corner. Brilliant.
A round-up of all the excitement so far:
A rare opportunity for Barcelona to counter-attack. Messi leads a three-on-three break, with plenty of space for the first time in the match. But he delays too long on the edge of the area and his pass to Griezmann is blocked by Manolas.
Nothing much is happening. Napoli's defensive tactics have been so effective that the game has been almost entirely devoid of entertainment.
Messi has started to drift to the wing, the only place where there is any space. So far, Napoli's defensive tactics have worked perfectly.
Rakitic's long-range shot is blocked. Napoli's defence and midfield are so tight, with no space for Barcelona to work with in the centre of the pitch.
Fabian Ruiz sweeps a lovely, imaginative pass out to Callejon on the right. His first-time cross takes a deflection off Junior Firpo and dribbles into the hands of ter Stegen. That was an important touch from Junior Firpo because Zielinski was unmarked at the far post.
A good move from Napoli, who move from one end of the field to the other with a series of short, precise passes. Eventually Pique makes a good sliding tackle on Mertens in the area.
The Napoli fans are starting to get frustrated by Barcelona's dominance. Napoli are sitting very deep, happy to play on the counter-attack.
Now Napoli have their first effort, with Mertens hitting a shot from the edge of the area that is comfortably held by ter Stegen.
Messi has the first shot, lashing a bouncing ball high over the bar from 20 yards.
Napoli are slowly easing their way into the game. It's been a sedate start, surprisingly so.
It's been a solid start from Barcelona, who have had most of the ball so far.
In fact, Barcelona have settled into a loose 4-3-3 shape, with Griezmann left and Vidal right of Messi. 4-4-2 is dead!
They're always pumped, in fairness.
Some good early possession for Barcelona, until Pique overhits a pass that goes through to the keeper Ospina.
It looks like Barcelona are playing a standard four-man midfield, with de Jong on the left and Vidal on the right. 4-4-2 is back!
- 1st Half
A slightly late start in Naples, but we're underway now.
The players are in the tunnel. They look very serious. It's time for some Champions League action.
The last time Barcelona failed to reach the quarter-finals of this competition was in 2006-07, when they were beaten in the last 16 by Liverpool.
Napoli have never gone beyond the last 16 in this tournament, not even when Diego Maradona was around. They were knocked out at this stage in 1990-91, 2011-12 (a classic tie against Chelsea) and 2015-16.
A bit more pre-match reading for you.
This is the first time Lionel Messi has visited the Stadio San Paolo, the place where Diego Maradona walked on water in the 1980s. Maradona also spent a couple of seasons at Barcelona, where he won a couple of cups and sparked a mass brawl between the players of Barca and Athletic Bilbao.
Both teams have changed managers since the group stages. Gennaro Gattuso replaced Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli, while Quique Setien has replaced Ernesto Valverde at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have been a rabble at times this season, and have had all sorts of problems with injuries, yet they are top of La Liga and Lionel Messi is bang in form. He is desperate to win at least one more Champions League before he retires.
Napoli are an unpredictable mob. They are sixth in Serie A, 24 points behind the leaders Juventus, yet they have beaten Juve, Internazionale and Liverpool this season. Barcelona know they are a dangerous opponent.
Some pre-match viewing: if some European paper reports are to be believed, Liverpool could be about to get even better.
The teams are in...
NAPOLI: Ospina, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mario Rui, Fabian, Demme, Zielinski, Callejon, Mertens, Insigne … Subs: Meret, Allan, Elmas, Luperto, Politano, Hysaj, Milik. /// BARCELONA: ter Stegan, Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Rakitic, Busquets, de Jong, Vidal, Messi, Griezmann… Subs: Neto, Arthur, Lenglet, Ricard Puig, Fati, Ronald Araujo, Akieme.
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Napoli v Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League. This is the first leg, with the return match taking place in the distant future (18 March, to be precise). Barcelona have some Champions League demons to exorcise after those shocking collapses against Roma and Liverpool in the last two seasons. At least they play the away leg first time. Kick off is at 8pm UK time, 9pm in Naples, and we’ll have team news shortly.