Antoine Griezmann’s first away Champions League goal since February 2017 ensured Barcelona secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last-16 tie with Napoli at the San Paolo.
Dries Mertens brilliantly equalled a club record in the first half with his 121st strike for Napoli (30), but after the Belgian was forced off injured early in the second period, Barcelona asserted themselves, and duly levelled when Griezmann crashed home from Nelson Semedo’s cross (57).
Jose Callejon had a glorious chance to restore Napoli’s lead when put through by substitute Arkadiusz Milik but Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a vital save.
Arturo Vidal was dismissed for two quickfire yellow cards as a result of the same incident as he clashed with Mario Rui (89), but Barcelona will seek to protect their away goal when these two sides meet again for the second leg on March 18 at the Nou Camp.
Napoli: Ospina (6), Di Lorenzo (6), Manolas (7), Maksimovic (7), Rui (6), Fabian (7), Demme (7), Zielinski (6), Callejon (6), Mertens (7), Insigne (6).
Subs: Allan (6), Politano (5), Milik (6).
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (7), Nelson Semedo (7), Pique (6), Umtiti (6), Firpo (6), Busquets (8), Rakitic (5), de Jong (6), Vidal (5), Messi (7), Griezmann (7).
Subs: Arthur (6), Lenglet (n/a), Fati (n/a).
Man of the match: Sergio Busquets.