Barcelona coach Quique Setién is pleased with his side’s 1-1 draw against Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, as he is hopeful the away goal will give the Catalans an advantage in the return leg at Camp Nou next month.

A second half goal from Antoine Griezmann at Stadio San Paolo cancelled out Napoli’s first half opener scored by Dries Mertens, although both Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets will be suspended for the second leg after red and yellow cards respectively.


Setién was able to overlook a disappointing Barcelona performance and commented, via Marca: “It’s a good result. Especially considering we have the return match at home.”

The Barça boss also bemoaned Napoli’s tactic to try and limit the visitors to as few chances as possible.

“They defended with ten players very close to their area. It’s true that we didn’t create but we knew that it was a matter of patience. Our insistence allowed us to find some spaces,” he said.

Legendary former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger took a different view as he commented on the game as a pundit for beIN SPORTS, suggesting this Barcelona team is not good enough to end the club’s relative European drought and win a first Champions League title since 2015.

Nikola Maksimovic,Lionel Messi

“This Barcelona side has similar numbers to Napoli. On average they have 13 shots on goal, but they concede as well 13 shots on goal. And I knew Barcelona when they had 27 shots on goal and conceded two,” the former coach turned FIFA advisor explained.

Discussing the flaws, he added: “They win the ball back less quickly [and] sit back a little bit more. They are more open from midfield, they do not create chances, they have no [midfield] goalscorer.

“I played against Barcelona with [Dani] Alves on the right, [Jordi] Alba on the left. On the flanks their full-backs – apart from Alba – their numbers to create chances from the right are very poor.”

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