Sunday February 18 2018
Sarri: 'Napoli can't walk into the net'

Maurizio Sarri admits Napoli “only have Serie A in their heads and have no motivation for anything else,” but against SPAL “tried to walk the ball into the net.”

The Partenopei were criticised on Thursday for snubbing the Europa League in a 3-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig, focusing all their attention on the Scudetto.

Beating SPAL 1-0 with an Allan goal was their all-time club record ninth straight Serie A win, but still not a commanding performance.

“I expected a response after the Cup game,” Sarri told Mediaset Premium.

“We started so well today that we immediately took the game in hand and forgot to finish it off. That was a mistake on our part, as you can’t be this in control and yet leave the result open to the 90th minute. Perhaps subconsciously the players saw how easily they were slicing through SPAL and thought they didn’t need to maintain that level of determination, but that’s very wrong.

“The game reminded me of the one with Sassuolo, where we conceded the equaliser at the first shot on target. We became too lazy and wanted to walk the ball into the net. We were acting 10 minutes from time as if we were 3-0 up, not 1-0.”

The discussion returned to the Europa League embarrassment, fielding a second string side.

“I don’t think we snubbed the tournament. Everyone rotates their squad in the Europa League and it was an invasive fixture because it came 72 hours before SPAL.

“Aside from that, I did expect more enthusiasm from those who were on the pitch. This team appears to only have Serie A in its mind and has no motivation for anything else.”

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