Calzona: “We Conceded Too Much. Osimhen’s Penalty Was Clear”


Napoli boss Francesco Calzona believes they conceded too much to Barcelona, while there was a clear penalty on Victor Osimhen. The Partenopei’s elimination leaves them with only a top four place to play for this season after a disappointing campaign where they changed coaches three times. Speaking with Sky Sport Italia post-match, Calzona began by assessing the team’s performance:

“We conceded too much to Barcelona. It’s our fault because we lost possession too many times. We started poorly, were too open, and lacked preventive defensive phase. Against these teams, you can’t afford it.”

Further dissecting the game, Calzona remarked, “Overall, it was a back-and-forth match. There were moments when we performed decently. However, some elements were not at their best, but when you lose these matches, it’s clear something didn’t work. What disappoints me is that we knew we shouldn’t concede much, yet we did. Making plenty of mistakes in passes and easy touches cost us the game.”

Calzona also addressed an incident involving Osimhen in the penalty area: “I reviewed it, and to me, it looked like a clear penalty. I heard experts saying the same. I don’t understand why at this level, VAR doesn’t take enough time to decide, considering they made quick decisions. It’s disappointing because it could have changed the outcome of the game.”

Napoli faced numerous counterattacks from Barcelona: “That’s true, but usually when you have the ball, I talk about preventive defensive phase. Today, we didn’t do it because we were all over the place, which I don’t like. Every time we lost the ball, they broke out. We need to work hard on this because it’s something that needs fixing as soon as possible.”

Especially against teams of this caliber, it’s crucial to dare to make plays: “We don’t risk the pass; we opt for a safer one. Even today, in our technical meetings, I emphasized taking risks without fear of making mistakes, especially when we’re in their final third. This is an aspect we need to improve, and we’re working on it in training. Sometimes it happens, but not often enough. We should do it much more, take risks in passing because the times Osimhen was offside, it’s not entirely his fault but also because of the delay in playing the ball forward.”

Finally, regarding the future: “Of course, we have the league. There are many games, and we must nurture the dream of catching up with the teams ahead of us. It’s challenging, but mathematics doesn’t condemn us, and we must do it. As for me, at the moment, it’s the least of my concerns. I have to focus on doing well with these boys, and I think we’ve already taken a step forward.”


Serie A obsessive.