The Nigerian international shook of a suspected muscle injury, but it was not the best of performances from him as the Neapolitans held Barcelona in Europe’s second-tier competition
Super Eagles star Victor Osimhen could not score his second goal against Spanish opposition as Napoli played out a 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 encounter at the Camp Nou on Thursday evening.
Before Thursday, Osimhen had suffered mixed fortunes in four previous appearances against Spanish opposition. He scored against Valencia in the Champions League group stage in 2019 while at Lille, but the game ended in a 4-1 loss for the French team.
And last season, he received a red card in Napoli’s 1-0 win at Real Sociedad in the Europa League. Osimhen was hoping for a change in fortune going into the game against Barca, but the Nigerian international was unable to make his mark in the game.
Osimhen had been a doubt for the game after missing Napoli’s final training session on Wednesday. However, it was just a precaution, and he took his place in the starting lineup.
Barcelona started on the front foot, but it was Napoli that had the first real chance of the game, although Osimhen could not convert.
The 23-year-old did well to use his speed to latch onto a through ball from Piotr Zieliński, but his effort was kept out by Marc Andre Ter Stegen in Barcelona’s goal.
It turned out to be his only meaningful attempt in the game as he struggled with a lack of services. But despite his miss, it was Napoli that took the lead through Zieliński, who fired into the roof of the net in the 29th minute after Ter Stegen had saved his initial effort.
Luciano Spalletti’s men were second best throughout the second half, and they were made to pay for it as Ferran Torres’ penalty in the 59th minute ensured there is all to play for going into the second leg in Italy next week.