Thursday October 22 2020
Gattuso: 'Napoli were sterile'

Gennaro Gattuso saw determination both in defence and attack as the main difference between Napoli and AZ Alkmaar. ‘Our possession was sterile.’

The Partenopei looked a completely different team to the one that tore Atalanta to shreds 4-1 on Saturday, as although they dominated possession in the Europa League group game, they were toothless upfront.

“We should not have lost a game like this. Possession is fine, but not when it’s sterile, as we tickled the opposition rather than hurt them,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia after a 1-0 home defeat.

“There were some good things in the first half, but after the break we were making too many predictable passes to feet, never a give and go.

“We need more vehemence and hunger, as today we didn’t do enough off the ball.”

The opening defeat puts Napoli bottom of their Europa League group, as Real Sociedad won 1-0 away to HNK Rijeka.

“It complicates matters and now we cannot afford any more mistakes. Perhaps we received too much praise after the last game with Atalanta, I don’t know.

“AZ also had extra motivation, as they lost so many players due to COVID and it fired them up. I’ve never seen them defend with as much determination as they did today. We allowed them just one shot on goal and they scored. That’s what happens in Europe and it should serve as a lesson for us.”