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Nápoles NAP
Mertens 29'
Barcelona BCN
Griezmann 56',Vidal 88'

Barcelona take vital away goal back to Camp Nou

Naples (Italy), 25/02/2020.- Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann (R) scores during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between SSC Napoli vs FC Barcelona at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, 25 February 2020. (Liga de Campeon

Napoli vs Barcelona: as it happened!




Into the last minute and Napoli have a corner but Umtiti is fouled.


Lenglet on for Piqué.


Pique goes down injured now. He is after turning his ankle and will miss the Clásico now.


Vidal sent off! He fouled Rui and got a booking and then Rui got up and had a go at him. Vidal got involved and kind of pushed his head into Rui's forehead and gets sent off. Silly from the Chilean.


Arthur controls one outside the box and lines up one. He drives it a mile over the bar.


Nice attack from Napoli and Politano crosses but Busquets puts it out for a corner. 


Looks like Ansu Fati ready to come on.


Griezmann booked for throwing an arm around Insigne and stopping him from breaking out for Napoli. Booked for his effort too.


Messi into the penalty area but he tries to drop his hip and twist his way out of a challenge but gets dispossessed. Napoli have done well to stop him tonight.


Allan coming on for Demme in midfield for Napoli.


Vidal takes the ball down in the box and he plays to Messi. The Argentine's shot is blocked for a corner, which he steps up to take.


Politano comes on for Callejon.


I believe it was actually offside from Insigne in the build-up.


Napoli have a free after Vidal jumps in on Insigne. Callejon was thrown to the ground in the penalty area by Firpo. 


Arthur drives forward and finds De Jong but his pass is off target and he knows it was a good chance spurned.


Ball bounces up kindly enough to Semedo and he decides to throw a right foot at it. Wrong choice as he sends it a country mile wide.


Messi gets booked after flying into Ospina with his studs up.


Messi with an outrageous run and passes to Vidal. He continues his run and Vidal gets it to him. He clatters into Ospina and concedes the free but he's down hurt himself.


Milik plays it into Callejon. He's one on one with Ter Stegen and has to score. Ter Stegen saves. 


Di Lorenzo takes Umtiti down now and it's getting a lttle feisty out there.


Foul by Insigne just after that as Barcelona brought the ball out and he gets himself booked.


Insigne with a lovely move to lose two defenders in the penalty area. He drives one low and Ter Stegen manages to keep it out. 


GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Griezmann absolutely buries it. Busquets finds Semedo and he squares for Griezmann to slam home.


Rakitic off for Arthur.


Confirmation of the change. Milik on for injured Mertens.


Mertens can't continue. He tells the bench he can't play on after Busquets foul.


Ball crossed in from the left and Ospina grabs it.


Mertens tries to clear and Busquets puts his foot in front of him. The Belgian kicks him and Busquets gets a yellow card. Really sore one.


Mertens blocks a Messi pass inside. Napoli launch it clear.


De Jong out to Firpo and he drives a cross into the box, which is half-blocked. Not going to do it for Barcelona and they're going to have to be really precise in their passing.


Ansu Fati out warming up for Barcelona.


We are back underway in the second half! Napoli on the ball to start but it's wasted possession. Out for a throw for Barcelona.

Teams back on the field. Barcelona really need to improve on this. That's the analysis you tune in for.

Barcelona with 455 passes and zero shots on target.

Napoli came out dead set on defending deep and killing space, which they have done very well. Barcelona look good in possession but with no chance to find that killer pass. Messi has been swarmed every time he got the ball and Setién will have to be thinking about a Plan B for fear of Napoli nabbing another goal here.


HALF-TIME. Gattuso 1 Setién 0 in that half, it is certainly safe to say.


One minute of added time.


Vidal inside to Messi and he's surrounded again. Vidal crosses into the box Ospina grabs it and falls on the ground to kill some time.


Cross into the box and Callejon drives it into the box first time. Manolas pokes it just wide of the post.


Mario Rui bulldozes into Busquets. No free and then Busquets holds the ball on the ground with his feet. Free Napoli. They're really up for this one.


Umtiti slips as he tries to pass forward and Napoli win it back. They're trying to provoke Barcelona into pressing them and then hitting high risk passes befor breaking into space.


Semedo tries to get going down the right and he almost does but Mario Rui slides in and puts the ball out for a throw.


Messi has been really frustrated. He is dropping slightly deeper now but ever time he gets the ball he is closed down and surrounded.


Busquets tried to find Firpo with a ball out to the left. Callejon drives it into the stands. 


THAT IS SENSATIONAL! Mertens with the opener. Napoli on the break and Mertens curls it into the top corner. Ter Stegen didn't even move.


Messi breaks. He has Griezmann beside him. He tries to thread it through but Napoli get back in time. That was very, very dangerous for Napoli but they survived. That's where Barça will beat them too because they're defending too well to get a goal when they have the ball for longer than a couple of seconds.


Busquets will miss the second leg if he is booked and he is now on some very, very thin ice.


Barcelona finally win the ball and attack at speed. They're forced backwards though. De Jong finds Messi with a laser pass. But they are crowded out again. Busquets jumps in on Mertens and gives away a free. Lucky not to be given a yellow for that one.


Rakitic to Messi all the way on the right as he is forced out there to find space. He sends the ball into Vidal and he heads down to a Napoli player. The home side win it back.


Semedo to De Jong and out to Firpo. Barcelona forced to be patient in possession. Napoli defending quite well. 


Griezmann ruled offside after a spell of Barça possession.


Callejon with the right option. He gets the ball on the right and opts to pass inside instead of shooting. Firpo blocks it and it rolls back to Ter Stegen. Game continue to open up and Napoli enjoying the better of it.


Game is certainly opening up now a little bit. Mertens the main focus of Napoli's attacks. Pique slides in this time to prevent the little Belgian from getting to it in the penalty box.


Napoli play around with it and lose out. Messi with a misplaced pass to De Jong ahead of him. Fabian brings it out and it's all a little too hasty as Napoli lose out. Some nice ideas and Barcelona not convincing in attacking third just yet but the home side haven't created much either.


Mertens down the left and cuts inside Pique but his shot is tame and Ter Stegen welcomes it into his loving arms.


Messi with the shot now after linking up with De Jong. Some very loud jeers from the fans it sounded like.


Napoli with a rare attack. They win a throw and then settle down in possession as it goes all the way back to Ospina. High pressure from Barcelona and the Colombian keeper chips it over Griezmann.


Callejon blocks a Junior pass inside and then absolutely ploughs into the left-back. Fairly obvious foul as Firpo ends up on the ground.


Semedo back to Piqué. Ball worked down the right and Messi crosses to Junior. Headed inside and cleared by Napoli.


Barcelona on the ball to start this one as Napoli settle into a 4-5-1. They look like a team all set to win the ball and try to win the game in transition. Ball is sent backwards in a hurried fashion and they try to pounce before settling down again into their shape.


We are underway at San Paolo.

Felix Brych the man in the middle tonight.

Messi and Mertens up for the coin toss. Barcelona wearing their yellow away strip and Napoli in their light blue home one.

Teams out on the field. They shake hands and head off for a final teamtalk.

Does Messi have another 36 appearances in him to beat Casillas before Ronaldo hangs up his boots?

Demme says, however, that his idol wasn't Maradona though. "It was Gattuso."

Diego Demme starts tonight. He was born eight months after Maradona played his last game for Napoli. His parents were obsessed with the Argentine and named their son after the little magician. "I couldn't say no to Napoli," he said before the game tonight about the offer from the Italians.

Setién's first game in the Champions League tonight. The harshest of training grounds and he'll have to pick it up quickly.

Messi walking into the Napoli stadium and someone says: "Welcome to your father's house!" 

Messi gave it a little giggle too.


Fabian is a player who has been garnering loads of interest from both Barcelona and Real Madrid. We might see a war in the summer for the player.

Manolas, of course, the man who scored an important goal for Roma as they knocked Barcelona out a couple of years ago. Here's a clip of Peter Drury commentating on that goal. 

Napoli XI: Ospina, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mario Rui, Fabian, Demme, Zielinski, Callejon, Mertens, Insigne.

Umtiti chosen ahead of Lenglet too. 

Setién picks Rakitic in what is a controversial choice. He didn't play well against Eibar but Setién chooses him alongside De Jong and Busquets in midfield tonight.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Junior, De Jong, Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic, Messi, Griezmann

Messi has never played at Sao Paolo in Naples. The comparisons between himself and Maradona have never been more pronounced. Messi's only goal on Italian soil in the Champions League knockout stages was in the 2009 final against Manchester United at Rome's Stadio Olimpico – he has failed to find the net (or deliver an assist) in each of his subsequent five appearances.

Hirving Lozano burst onto the scene at Napoli but Gattuso remains unconvinced:

"Lozano has to work harder and improve to be ready. Right now I am looking for different qualities that he doesn’t have so at the moment there I have no space for him in my team," he said.

Just so you don't miss any live action.

Here is an in-depth preview of the game tonight and predicted team news.

Kalidou Koulibaly is the big question mark for Napoli while Barcelona have a lengthy injury list: Dembélé, Suárez, Sergi Roberto all find themselves on it and Martin Braithwaite, their most recent addition is not eligible.

Insigne was asked about Messi and Maradona, the comparison being particularly apt tonight given the latter's brilliant in the blue of Napoli, but he would not dare thread on such treacherous ground.

"I had an interview and I said Messi is the best player in the world. However, I do not want to compare him with Maradona, who is everything for us. I do not want to compare him," he told a news conference.

Felix Brych

UEFA have confirmed that the German match official, Felix Brych, will be in charge of proceedings at the San Paolo stadium on Tuesday for the Round of 16 first leg clash.

Hello and welcome to our live online coverage of Napoli vs Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 clash at Sao Paolo in Naples. Kick-off is at 21:00 CET but we will have team news and build-up before that.

Barcelona are coming off an impressive 5-0 victory against Eibar with Lionel Messi scoring four goals. But that game also saw white hankies being waved at Josep Maria Bartomeu after a series of regrettable events at the club. Messi saved him on that occasion but only Champions League glory will save him heading into the summer.

Napoli sacked Carlo Ancelotti earlier in the season and brought Gennaro Gattuso in. They have won three in a row now and beat Inter in the Coppa semi-final. Things are going relatively smoothly for the former AC Milan player with a win over Brescia way last weekend to set them up nicely for this clash.


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