Lucien Favre explained why Nice changed tactics to take on Napoli and insists a 2-0 first leg defeat “still gives us hope” for the Champions League.
The Partenopei largely dominated and Nice didn’t have a single shot on target, but did prove dangerous on the counter.
Understandably, the Ligue 1 outfit was irritated at seeing Vincent Koziello given a straight red card for a high tackle on Piotr Zielinski and Alassane Plea follow moments later for dissent.
“We could’ve avoided those cards and Koziello’s was a bit harsh. We are disappointed at ending the game with nine men, but the most important thing is that we didn’t concede a third,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“If it had been 3-0, then we’d have had serious problems, but 2-0 still gives us hope.”
Nice were missing injured Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder, but changed system to effectively 5-4-1.
“It is always very difficult to take on Napoli’s style of 4-3-3. They have been playing with that system for a while and it shows, as they move so smoothly.
“We put in a good performance and it was wise to change system, though it’s tough to defend against their one-touch football. On the first goal, they surprised us with these deep runs. We then conceded on a penalty.
“It’s definitely a pity we were unable to take at least one of our chances, because having an away goal would’ve really changed the situation. I will watch the game back and try to correct the errors we made.
“I hope Balotelli and Sneijder can be ready for the second leg.”