Kalidou Koulibaly notes Napoli felt “freer” after going 2-0 down, having initially been frightened by Manchester City’s tempo.
The hosts dominated the opening half-hour and went 2-0 up within 13 minutes, but the Partenopei slowly got into their groove and threatened a late equaliser in the 2-1 defeat.
“We stepped on to the field feeling too timorous and Manchester City moved the ball very quickly, the kind you don’t see every day,” Senegal international Koulibaly told Mediaset Premium.
“The two goals we conceded were disappointing, but towards half-time we had already started playing better and felt freer. In the second half, we did well.
“It was a defeat this evening, but we have to take the positives from this match too. We want to qualify for the next round. The return match with City will be different.”
Napoli rested Jorginho and Allan ahead of Saturday’s top of the Serie A table clash with Inter.
“We have a very difficult match coming up and a very important one. Now we’ve got to put the Champions League aside and focus on picking up points against Inter. We’ll do everything we can to win.”