Sunday September 22 2013
Benitez: 'I have to be happy'

Rafa Benitez admitted it wasn’t Napoli’s best game of the season, but “a Coach has to be happy” when winning at San Siro.

“We worked together as a team tonight and that was very important, as if you have that then the quality players get the chance to shine,” he told Sky Sport Italia after a 2-1 victory over Milan.

“I like the way my team are playing. I’ll say we are now at 73 per cent, but we can still improve these little things and when we do it’ll be easier to win.”

Pepe Reina made history by becoming the first man to save a Mario Balotelli penalty in a competitive match.

“We have been putting together dossiers on penalty takers for years. Our goalkeeping coach does a great job, as he already did against Milan with Dudek in Istanbul. Of the five takers in that Final, we knew where four of them would place their penalties.

“Milan played well, so it wasn’t easy for us to counter Balotelli’s position between the lines. We needed to make adjustments and are at the start of this journey, so we need to improve many things, but winning away to Milan a Coach has to be happy.

“The important thing was to show this character right to the end. It wasn’t our best performance of the season, but to come here and win for a fifth consecutive victory is impressive.”

Benitez also revealed why Christian Maggio was left on the bench in favour of Giandomenico Mesto.

“Maggio was not on the pitch because Mesto is a great player. He also had a bit of a knee problem, so there was no need to risk him.”