Champions League: Naples and Barcelona back to back, Arsenal beaten to the wire

A few whistles escape from the Armando Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples. Between a sick Napoli team and a sluggish Barça, where the contested Xavi will leave at the end of the season, this round of 16 never reached the heights on a technical and emotional level. But for his first on the Napoli bench, two days after his signing, Francesco Calzona, 3rd Neapolitan coach of the season after Rudi Garcia and Walter Mazzari, may have found some reasons to hope for the rest of the season.

Dominated by Barcelona, ​​Naples at least had the merit of breaking out of their torpor in the second period and obtaining the draw (1-1) which leaves them alive for the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League in three weeks in Barcelona .

Never dangerous (0 shots) in the first period, Napoli were able to count on their goalkeeper Alex Meret, decisive on several occasions. He immediately diverts the strike from the strike of Lamine Yamal (8th) who became this Wednesday evening the youngest player to experience a direct elimination match in the Champions League (16 years, 223 days).

The Italian international goalkeeper then made a double save, first on Lewandowski’s rebound then Gündogan’s 25m shot (22nd).

Lewandowski-Osimhen: 1-1

If Naples had finally gradually returned to their match, they were nevertheless quickly punished at the start of the second half. Robert Lewandowski plays defense and achieves a good sequence (0-1, 60th). The Polish international, 3rd scorer in the history of the competition behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, scored the 93rd goal of his career in the Champions League.

But this match was also a duel between two of the greatest scorers playing in Europe. With his back to goal, Victor Osimhen plays with his body to equalize and respond to Lewandowski (1-1, 75th). This is the second goal in the Champions League this season for the Nigerian international, recent unfortunate finalist of the CAN. A goal nevertheless marred by a foul from Osimhen, still exemplary collectively (1 shot, 25 balls hit) as the images showed. But VAR did not intervene…

Driven by their fiery public, Napoli tried everything to snatch victory. But it was Barça with a strike from Gündogan who had the match point (90th + 4). In vain.

Arsenal surprised at the end of the match

In the other round of 16 played this Wednesday evening, Porto beat Arsenal to the wire (1-0) thanks to a splendid goal from Galeno in stoppage time (90th + 4).

Author of 21 goals in its last five matches, the English club this time failed to find the fault against the solid and more enterprising Portuguese. The Gunners will have to pull themselves together on March 12 in London if they want to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years, facing the Portuguese who have been quarter-finalists three times over the same period.


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