Quique Setien insisted patience was the key for Barcelona during their Champions League away match at Napoli.
The Catalan giants secured a 1-1 draw in Naples after Antoine Griezmann’s second half equaliser cancelled out the opener from Dries Mertens for the hosts.
Setien’s side typically dominated the ball – they passed the ball 797 times and enjoyed 67% of possession but managed just two shots on target, compared to four of Napoli.
Napoli sat very deep and soaked up a lot of pressure, with the aim of hitting the Blaugrana on the counter-attack and indeed appeared to create more of the clear opportunities despite their lack of possession.
“It is a good result considering that we have a return game at home,” Setien told reporters after the match, as cited by Marca.
“Napoli defended with ten players very close to their area. It is true that we have not generated chances but we knew that it was a matter of patience and we found spaces because we persisted.
“It has been a close match and I consider it fair. We had control, but in the first half they defended us well and took advantage of the only opportunity they had.
“We have lacked the point of clarity to go through that defence that Napoli had organised. The second half was different and there have been more spaces and we did more damage. A draw to one is fine for the second leg.”
Despite Barcelona’s good result, they suffered problems as Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets are now both suspended for the return leg.
Furthermore, Gerard Pique appeared to sustain an ankle injury and may be a doubt for this weekend’s El Clasico clash against Real Madrid.
“We will look for solutions,” added Setien. “But the Pique thing is a problem.”