Luciano Spalletti confessed Inter strangled Napoli because they “never played particularly great football and don’t have much quality.”
The Nerazzurri held Napoli to a goalless draw both home and away this season, but despite giving up possession for long periods, they had the best chance tonight with Milan Skriniar’s header on to the far post.
“I thought it was a good game. Spectacular football is subjective. I thought it was good in terms of searching, tactics and probing. Napoli have this quality, this Sarri method that everyone talks about, as they know each other by heart,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.
“We bit them at times, at others soaked up pressure, because the one thing you must never do against Napoli is get stretched out, as they’ll play between the lines.
“We had the chances to hurt them on the counter, some we took better than others. That’s what we’re like, I’m afraid. At times we are right in there and have the right attitude, at others we lose that and I don’t like the lack of consistency. We can’t build on it when we go forward and then back, because I can’t tell you what we’ll be like next week.”
In the second half, Spalletti switched flanks between Joao Cancelo and Danilo D’Ambrosio.
“The intention was to put Danilo marking Lorenzo Insigne. If Cancelo plays badly on the right, he’ll tell you he would do better 10 metres further forward. If he plays badly on the left, he’ll tell you it’s because he should’ve been on the right. All players do that, him more than most. He is two-footed, can emerge from very difficult situations with the quality of a trequartista rather than a full-back, so I moved him to push more down that flank.”
There does seem to be a theme developing, as this season Inter are unbeaten against the top four, emerging with one win (3-1 at Roma) and five draws (four of them goalless).
“It all depends on where you want to put this Inter. We in general had a horrible, really ugly period with some terrible games. In general, we’ve not played great football this season, because I don’t think we have this kind of quality that people seem to think.
“If we want to take the game to the opposition, we have to pass it around quickly and in short spaces. Instead, tonight we passed it back to our goalkeeper too many times. If you have quality, like Napoli do, you pass it between the lines with quick give-and-go moves. We tried that, and most of the time lost the ball.
“Napoli have a lot of quality, but we don’t have those characteristics. I still have to see this supposed quality, because I don't see it."