Despite Napoli’s 1-0 defeat to Milan at San Siro, their head coach believes that there is no pressure ahead of Tuesday’s second leg
Luciano Spalletti claims his team faces no pressure going into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Milan. Napoli is also currently dominating the Serie A and is on track to win their first league title since the 1989-90 season, and they have advanced to the quarter-finals of the top European club competition for the first time.
Partenopei lost the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final to Milan 1-0, with Ismael Bennacer scoring the only goal. Napoli midfielder Frank Zambo Anguissa received a red card during the game, and will not be available for the second leg, which takes place at the Stadio Olimpico.
Spalletti, however, believes Napoli should head into the game feeling optimistic, and not under pressure, telling reporters at his pre-match press conference: “Being in the Champions League at this point is already something important.
“We want to move forward, we want to win, so we’ll play to win. Then we’ll see where we’ll end up.
“We believe we can do more. There is no risk in tomorrow’s match, we risk infinite happiness. If you win, you go even further.”
Spaletti expects Napoli to show ‘character and personality’
Spalletti believes that Napoli will need to perform at the same level they did in the first leg, where they had more shots, possession, and attempts on target than Milan, in order to turn around the one-goal deficit at the Stadio Olimpico in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
“We have to do as in the first leg, where we came out with a slight disadvantage,” Spalletti said. “In general, the performance I expect is that of the first leg.
“I am convinced that important situations can only be created if we perform at a high level, if we are intense, if we are good at finding those spaces and getting out of them as fast as possible. I think it will be the same tomorrow night because the team deserves to perform well.”
Napoli are attempting to mount a comeback against one of the most successful teams in Champions League history, as Milan have won the competition seven times, second only to Real Madrid’s 14 triumphs.
“We’ve played many games in the Champions League, on pitches where we’ve shown character and personality, I don’t see why it should be different now.
“But there’s always the possibility to overturn any result and I expect the team to be able to do all the things needed.
“We have to think about playing the game in a normal way, putting everything we have into it. This level of football and competition is a reward for the players, for what has been done so far, a reward for the city for all the affection it has for these players, and we will have to give everything.”