Victor Osimhen: Napoli Striker Equalises Against Barcelona in UEFA Champions League Round of 16

Victor Osimhen: Napoli Striker Equalises Against Barcelona in UEFA Champions League Round of 16

Isaac Darko
updated at February 22, 2024 at 7:20 AM
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UEFA Champions League
  • Napoli drew with Barcelona in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash
  • Nigeria star, Victor Osimhen, saw the Italian giants draw level in the second half
  • Osimhen returned from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with some health issues

Napoli pulled off a remarkable UEFA Champions League equaliser against Barcelona courtesy of their standout forward, Victor Osimhen.

The Italian team has been lacklustre - to say the least - when playing in front of their home crowd, posing virtually no threat to the Catalans' goal.

As the visitors scored to take the lead through Robert Lewandowski, it seemed like the Round of 16 match was slipping away from Gli Azzurri.

Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates after scoring his ninth goal of the season against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates after scoring his ninth goal of the season against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Photo: David S. Bustamante.
Source: Twitter

However, a brilliant display of individual skill from Osimhen saw him outmanoeuvre his marker after receiving a pass on the edge of the box in the 75th minute.

The Nigeria international then spun around the ball and skillfully struck it past goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with clinical precision, Eurosport reported.

The goal was expected to have ignited the Italian side's determination to secure another goal, allowing them to take a lead to Barcelona in a couple of weeks' time.

However, the Champions League encounter ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw, leaving everything to play for during the second leg at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

Osimhen was left out of Napoli’s squad for last Saturday’s Serie A clash against Genoa after returning from AFCON 2023 with a minor muscular issue and fatigue.

Mazzarri blames Napoli sack on Osimhen

Meanwhile, Walter Mazzarri has admitted that Osimhen could have saved his job as Napoli coach after his dismissal from the reigning Serie A champions on Monday, The Punch reports.

The Nigerian's injury, coupled with his participation in the AFCON in Ivory Coast, severely restricted his availability, resulting in him featuring in only eight games under the Italian coach.

Mazzarri became Napoli's second managerial casualty, stepping down barely three months after taking over from Rudi Garcia, with the team winning just three out of nine games from his reign.

PSG keen to sign Victor Osimhen

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to meet Osimhen's release clause at Napoli.

The Nigerian is being seen as the ideal candidate to replace Kylian Mbappe, who is set to leave the Ligue 1 club.

Osimhen's excellent performance in Serie A last season has ignited interest from many clubs for the 25-year-old.

Authors
Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)