Barcelona held 1-1 by Napoli, Rangers win in Dortmund in EL

After dropping out of the Champions League, Barcelona now faces a difficult task just to qualify for the round of 16 in the Europa League

After dropping out of the Champions League, Barcelona now faces a difficult task just to qualify for the round of 16 in the Europa League.

In its first appearance in the second-tier European competition in nearly two decades, the Catalan club was held 1-1 by Napoli at Camp Nou Stadium on Thursday

In the first leg of one of eight playoffs between third-place finishers in the Champions League groups and Europa League group runners-ups.

It is the first time since 2003-04 that Barcelona is not in the knockout stages of the Champions League, a tournament it won five times.

In the other matchups, Scottish club Rangers stunned Borussia Dortmund 4-2 away, Real Betis won 3-2 at Zenit St. Petersburg and Sheriff beat Braga 1-0.

In the playoff matches to reach the last 16 of the inaugural Europa Conference League

PSV Eindhoven, Rapid Vienna, Midtjylland and Slavia Prague won the opening leg.

The second-leg games in both competitions are scheduled for Feb 24.

Ferran Torres salvaged the draw for Barcelona by converting a penalty that was awarded due to Juan Jesus’ handball in the 59th minute.

The forward calmly sent goalkeeper Alex Meret the opposite way from the spot.

Barcelona dominated the remaining 30 minutes but couldn't find a winner.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his first start for Barcelona after his move from Arsenal but was stifled by a well-organized Napoli defense.

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