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Barcelona 1-1 Napoli: Ferran Torres earns draw but Italian side have slight edge in Europa League tie

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Piotr Zielinski put the away side in front in the first-half, before Ferran Torres levelled things up for Barcelona from the spot on the hour mark.

Despite dominating the latter stages Barcelona could not find a winner, and although the away goals rule is no longer in place, Napoli will be very satisfied going into the second-leg in Italy next week.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was given his first Barcelona start, with Adama Traore and Ferran Torres also selected as Xavi put his faith in the former Premier League trio.

With just under half an hour played, two of them combined to create a huge chance. Aubameyang made the run in behind and played in inside for Torres who was in on goal, but sent his effort high and wide when he had to score.

He was made to regret it even more less than a minute later when Napoli took the lead. Elif Elmas did brilliantly to turn and cut the ball back to Zielinski in the box and although his first shot was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, he was on hand to send the rebound into the roof of the net.

Aubameyang curled an effort wide from distance and Torres couldn’t direct a header, as Barcelona went into the break behind after a disappointing display.

Barcelona got themselves level with an hour played, largely thanks to a VAR review. The home side appealed for a penalty after Traore’s cross brushed Juan Jesus’ hand and although the referee initially waved away the appeals, he consulted the replays and returned to point to the spot.

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Torres put his earlier misses behind him to step up and cooly slot past Alex Meret, giving Barcelona a much-needed equaliser.

Ousmane Dembele was brought on by Xavi, though his ongoing contract situation meant that many of the home fans booed his every touch.

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