Kuala Lumpur Post

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Xavi confident of Barca getting past Napoli after ‘undeserved’ draw

Naples, Italy — Xavi is optimistic of Barcelona reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite watching his dominant team held 1-1 at Napoli on Wednesday.

Barcelona were the better team for large parts of the game in Naples but return to Spain level after Victor Osimhen snatched a draw with the hosts’ only shot on target.

Xavi’s team, who scored through Robert Lewandowski, created more chances and were agonisingly close to getting a last-gasp win when Ilkay Gundogan’s low shot whizzed just wide.

“Playing like this we have a good chance of going through. We played well in attack and defence, and after the goal we created more chances,” Xavi told reporters.

“We deserved to win but this is the Champions League, if you give them a space then you can be punished.

“It’s a shame that the result didn’t reflect the play. But I’m satisfied because we applied what we have worked on. I’m proud of the image the squad gave of itself. We’re ready to compete in the return leg.”

New Napoli boss Francesco Calzona was also happy with the result of his first match, which was prepared hurriedly after becoming the Italian champions’ third manager of the season on Monday night.

“What I liked best was the desire to get back into the game. we need to work on tactical things, but I also got good responses from the substitutes so I’m happy,” said Calzona.

“We could have lost but we drew, and we even had a chance to win. So I’m pleased.”

“Playing against Barca is difficult for everyone but the draw keeps us in it. We want to go through because Napoli have to have that that ambition. It will be a difficult match for us.” — AFP