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Osimhen scores as Napoli draw Barcelona in UCL last-16

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Victor Osimhen rescued Napoli a 1-1 home draw against Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in his first appearance for the Italian club since December.

Osimhen, who had served a ban in Napoli’s previous game after returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty for runners-up Nigeria, stole clear in the penalty area with 15 minutes remaining to fire home an equaliser.

Barcelona had taken a deserved lead on the hour-mark through Robert Lewandowski’s 93rd Champions League goal.

It was Napoli’s first game since they sacked head coach Walter Mazzarri after three months in charge and replaced him with Slovakian Francesco Calzona.

The Blaugrana were dominant for the majority of the encounter at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, with Calzona’s men lacking threat in the final third.

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But they eventually found a way when Super Eagles star Osimhen slipped past his marker in the box and rifle past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret was forced into a number of good saves, denying efforts Lewandowski, lkay Gundogan and Lamine Yamal, who at 16 became the youngest player to feature in a Champions League knockout tie.

The defending Serie A champions failed to register a shot on target in the first half, with Osimhen in particular failing to make inroads.

But the Partenopei grew into the game late on and found what could be a crucial equaliser through their star striker, who is heavily tipped for a big-money move this summer.

It means the last-16 tie is all to play for ahead of the second leg in Catalonia on March 12.

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