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Barcelona 'lacked maturity' in bittersweet Napoli draw - Xavi

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Burley: Napoli-Barcelona was really hard to watch (0:46)

Craig Burley speaks out on the poor quality of Napoli's match vs. Barcelona. (0:46)

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández felt his side lacked maturity as the Spanish champions were held to a "bittersweet" 1-1 draw by Napoli at the Stadio Maradona on Wednesday in the Champions League round-of-16.

Robert Lewandowski gave Barça the lead on the hour mark, but Victor Osimhen's 75th-minute equaliser for the Italian champions ensured the teams will go into the second leg in March all square.

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"It is a bittersweet feeling because we had the game in our hands," Xavi said in his post-game news conference. "We played well. We defended well; Napoli didn't create much, but in the moment [after taking the lead] we lacked control when we needed to dominate, show personality and be aggressive.

"It's a shame. It was a good performance in general and I am proud of the image we have shown Europe. This is the Barça we want, but we lacked maturity to [manage the game].

"Maybe physically they were stronger than us in individual duels, but playing this way we have good chance of going through and will win more than we lose."

In Barça's first Champions League knockout game since 2021, Lewandowski extended his good run of form to open the scoring in the second half, finishing clinically after receiving the ball from Pedri.

The Poland striker has now scored five goals in his last four games in all competitions, taking his tally to 18 for the season after bringing up 50 Barça goals at the weekend.

"Lewandowski is playing for the team now," Xavi added. "He has taken a step forward. He's winning his individual battles, he's together with the team and pressing high.

"He's a natural leader and he wants to improve. He's helping a lot at the moment and it's more about that, the goals are a consequence of his good play."

Barça, who are eight points behind LaLiga leaders Real Madrid, have league games against Getafe, Athletic Club and Mallorca before the second leg against Napoli on March 12. That match will be played at the Olympic Stadium as redevelopment work continues at Camp Nou.

"Of course we miss Camp Nou," Xavi, who will step down at the end of the campaign, said of having to play away from the club's 100,000-capacity home. "I said in preseason it would be a difficult year away from the stadium.

"It's not same playing at [the Olympic Stadium] as Camp Nou, but it should not affect us. It's a shame because imagine the second leg at Camp Nou, it would be different -- for us and the opposition."

Like Barça, Napoli's title defence has also been difficult. They are ninth in Serie A, nine points off the top four and over 20 behind leaders Inter.

That led to a change of manager on Monday, just 48 hours before Barça's visit, with the Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona replacing Walter Mazzarri until the end of the campaign.

Napoli looked like a side out of sorts for large parts of the game against Barça, but they did improve, with Nigeria striker Osimhen earning them a draw with their only shot on target after getting the better of Iñigo Martínez.

"We have a lot to work on still, but I congratulated the players on this performance," Calzona told Prime Video. "We fought, we had a good second half and a great final 15 minutes.

"I liked the spirit a lot. In the end, we believed we could win this game. We struggled in the opening 30 minutes, then the team reacted. I am very happy with the substitutes."