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Luciano Spalletti: ‘Space over systems’

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti was proud of his boys for qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League and explained the importance of space over a system. The Partenopei have been lauded for their 4-3-3 system which has seen them beat Liverpool, Rangers and now Ajax twice in the space of just over a week. The victories put them firmly into the next stage of Europe’s premier competition, and speaking to Sky after the game, Spalletti expressed how the city has carried the team along:

On evenings like this, you are swept along by the atmosphere. At one point, I felt dizzy and thought I could see stars going around my head.

This qualification is down to the lads and I am fortunate to be working with a group like this. The entire city is proud of them, a city that pushed us on with the right motivation.

“4-3-3? Systems no longer exist in football, it’s all about the spaces left by the opposition. You must be quick to spot them and know the right moment to strike, have the courage to start the move even when pressed.

We saw today with Ajax’s first goal what the Champions League is. Anguissa was injured and we conceded before we were able to put the ball out of play.

Osimhen was often offside because he was so eager that he started the runs early.

He is not yet in the right shape to help out his teammates, but we tried to keep the ball more in the second half and use Osimhen’s ability in the air for long balls.”

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