Walter Mazzarri believes his Napoli side wasted a chance to take the lead against Real Madrid but praised him team for rediscovering their spirit. The match finished 4-2 but the Partenopei had their share of chances to add to the goals. Qualification for the last 16 will go down to the final game, with Napoli needing to avoid defeat to Braga when they host them on 12 December to guarantee a place in the knock-outs. Speaking in the post-match, Mazzari took the positives from the performance
“What did Ancelotti say to me? Something nice, I don’t even remember. Carlo is a friend and I respect him, but when I lose I think about the game and the mistakes that were made.”
“We played a very good match, at 2-2 we could have even taken the lead if we made the right counter attacks. I had seen Real Madrid in difficulty. Then there was the 3-2 goal and we got unbalanced, losing by 3 or 4 goals changes little. I’m satisfied because from an overall point of view we played a very good match, but there are some minor things to correct.
“Physical condition? It wasn’t a deficient condition, but it’s normal that you can be tired after so many games you play. I have to look at it since I arrived, I don’t allow myself to judge the work that was done before.”
“The rediscovered team spirit? I agree, the spirit was rediscovered. We got the counter attacks but we came up short. Something was seen, we played a good match considering the value of the opponent.
“Playing in the CL? It’s different, when you play at this level, they are always important matches. Tactically there are more modern concepts such as immediate recovery and high aggression. At these levels quality counts a lot, if you concede three restarts to Real Madrid, with those champions who jump the man and see the goal like few others, then you risk losing. Now everyone has this proactive attitude, before it was more sparse.”
“Osimhen? The change was planned. Today we gave him a break so that he could recover for Inter and the following games. There was a risk of relapse.”