Rudi Garcia concedes Napoli’s second-half dip in their 2-1 loss to Lazio, clarifying Kvicha Kvaratskhelia’s substitution and emphasizing loss prevention.
The Partenopei enjoyed a flawless start to the campaign with wins over Frosinone and Bologna but faltered in front of their own fans against their former coach, Maurizio Sarri.
Luis Alberto played a pivotal role, scoring a back-heel flick goal and executing a dummy that allowed Felipe Anderson to assist Daichi Kamada’s winning goal.
Garcia said: “We deserved to be ahead at half-time, because we played really well at the start and did not get the goal we deserved.
“On almost Lazio’s only real foray into our half, they scored, so had a 100 per cent efficiency rate. We equalised, but in the second half were far less effective in our passing and creating chances.
“Considering the second half, Lazio deserved the win, but looking at the match as a whole, I think a draw would’ve been better. The lads must learn that when we cannot win, we must at least not lose,” Garcia added.
Napoli’s first defeat of season: Garcia falls to Lazio
Piotr Zielinski briefly leveled the score with a deflected effort, but Lazio had two more goals narrowly disallowed by VAR for offside, depriving Mattia Zaccagni and Matteo Guendouzi of their goals, as they found themselves exposed on the counter-attack.
Garcia added: “We knew that against Lazio it is dangerous to take risks, because Felipe Anderson and Ciro Immobile are so good on the counter. Perhaps we weren’t aggressive enough in some defensive situations and need to improve that.
Garcia said: “I was not expecting that second half performance, but even then we could’ve got the equaliser and were not precise enough. We had 22 shots and none of them were on target in the second half, so it becomes difficult to score when we do that.
“There was even a chance at the final whistle with Juan Jesus and then Lindstrom firing over the bar. We have to accept the result and hope to get everyone in shape after the break for international duty for the start of this marathon season. There will be no time to complain.