Carlo Ancelotti explained his tactical decisions after the 1-0 win away to Cagliari, as Napoli have “shaken off” their Champions League exit.
The Partenopei only snatched a late victory in stoppages thanks to Arkadiusz Milik’s free kick, just days after the Poland international failed to convert a crucial chance against Liverpool.
“He is a smart guy, who is able to deal with various situations in a balanced manner,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia.
“The Liverpool defeat was a heavy blow, but the reaction had already come a long time before this evening. I didn’t need to win at Cagliari to know this team had already shaken off the Anfield game.”
Napoli rested both Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne to begin with, bringing them off the bench for the second half.
“We had difficulties in the first half because Mertens and Insigne have particular characteristics and attack the space in a certain way. I rested them because I wanted fresh legs for a game of great intensity.
“This is a team with good prospects and we are doing very well, but in my view can do far better. We are very competitive. We were in the Champions League, we are in Serie A and will be in the Europa League.
“I share the project with the club, so this is a structure that doesn’t let itself be influenced by one victory or defeat. We can really do well here.”
Ancelotti had said he’d like the Europa League Final to be between Napoli and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.
“That would be a dream, but there are many steps in the way first. We’ve proved that we’re competitive.”