Barcelona coach Quique Setien expressed optimism despite a poor show from his players against Napoli in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match at the San Paolo Stadium on Tuesday.
After Napoli took the lead in the opening half, Antoine Griezmann not only saved the Catalans a major embarrassment with his second-half equaliser but also earned them a vital away goal.
However, Setien is not stressing much on that and has instead placed confidence on his players and believes he will have enough ammunition under his command in the return leg against Napoli.
“We have lost important players, but we will recover two others – Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto. We have to look at things with optimism. We will be optimistic and think positively,” Setien said at the post-match press conference as quoted by goal.com.
Despite dominating the possession from the word go, the La Liga giants failed to cause substantial harm to a well-maintained defence laid by the hosts. And it was Napoli who drew the first blood at the 30th-minute mark through Dries Mertens.
The misery continued for the Lionel Messi-led team till the very last moments as Arturo Vidal was shown a red card in the penultimate minute of the regulation time after he received two bookings in quick succession.
Another concern for the Setien-managed team was the injury of Gerard Pique, who limped off the ground after falling heavily on his ankle.
The two sides were facing each other for the first time and Barcelona’s struggle was evident and they will consider themselves lucky to have earned an away goal.