Barcelona wasteful as Napoli hold on to draw 1-1 in Europa League

Piot Zieliniski (second right) put Napoli ahead halfway through the first half Reuters

Barcelona were held 1-1 at home by Napoli in the first leg of their Europa League knockout stage playoff tie on Thursday.

Barca dominated proceedings but found themselves a goal down to the Italians after Piotr Zielinski finished off a counter-attack in the 29th minute.

Barca forward Ferran Torres equalised shortly before the hour mark from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee had spotted a very subtle Juan Jesus’ handball from a Adama Traore cross inside the area.

Barca were on the front foot throughout with their brand new attacking trident formed by new signings Torres, Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but missed several chances to take the lead.

Napoli held on as they were bombarded in the last ten minutes, with Torres and substitutes Luuk de Jong and Ousmane Dembele missing chance after chance in front of Alex Meret’s goal. The second leg will be played at Napoli next week.

By Reuters 39 minutes ago
Football
Ballon d'Or owner loses trademark fight against UK's Golden Balls
By Reuters 3 hours ago
Football
Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie says playing for Xavi was key factor in decision to join Barcelona
Football
Premium What next for Gor Mahia after Andreas Spiers' exit?
By Reuters 13 hours ago
Football
AC Milan complete former Liverpool striker Origi free transfer signing