Having only been able to achieve a draw in the first leg at home, coach Gennaro Gattuso insisted that Napoli had not yet run out. He also has put up plans for the second leg match which will be held at Camp Nou later.
As is known, Napoli entertain Barcelona in the first leg match of the last 16 of the European Champions League on Wednesday (26/02). Although from the beginning Barcelona were very dominant, but Napoli actually superior first thanks to Dries Mertens scored in the 30th minute.
Unfortunately, Napoli failed to maintain excellence when playing the second half. Is the French striker, Antoine Griezmann who managed to thwart the victory of the host in the match. As a result, the final score of this match is a 1-1 draw.
This draw certainly reduces Napoli’s chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals. Because, they will play the second leg at the headquarters of Barcelona. However, Gattuso stressed that the chance to escape has not been lost.
The manager insisted that his team was ready to fight it out in the second leg at Camp Nou, 19 March.
“We are not finished yet, the round of 16 is still in our hands. We knew the second fight would be difficult, but we were ready to fight, we would buy helmets and armor. We will mobilize everything for the match later. There is no word yet, “said Gattuso.
Barcelona actually got a lot of yellow cards in the match, including two yellow cards to midfielder Arturo Vidal. But apart from the Chilean players’ red cards, the Catalan giants are indeed very dominating.
They controlled 70 percent of the ball throughout 90 minutes, but had difficulty penetrating the Partenopei’s defense. In fact, throughout the first half there were no kicks on target released by Lionel Messi et al.
Related to this, midfielder Sergio Busquets considered that the home team did appear to survive since the first minute. Although there are four players who survived, but actually there are 10 players who blocked the Barcelona attack.
“Napoli played with four defenders, but in practice, they put six more players in the upper layer, so it is impossible for us to replace Napoli’s defense,” complained Busquets to El Chiringuito.