Thursday November 4 2010
Mazzarri: 'We handed it to Gerrard'

Walter Mazzarri felt the referee was “influenced by the atmosphere” at Anfield, but also confessed Napoli helped Steven Gerrard to a hat-trick.

The Partenopei were leading 1-0 through Ezequiel Lavezzi and largely dominated the first half, but ran out of steam and succumbed to a Gerrard hat-trick in the final 15 minutes.

“I did not like the way the referee dealt with the game in the second half, but we were also naive, such as in the incident for the equaliser,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium after this 3-1 loss.

“We did, in any case, put in a good performance in a game where during the second half the referee let play run too often and that tipped the scales in Liverpool's favour. I think he was influenced by the atmosphere.”

Mazzarri did not mention Salvatore Aronica's horrific tackle on David Ngog, although the same defender gave away a penalty.

“He got his leg, but it was not intentional. In the first half there were many similar incidents and nobody got a yellow card for that.”

Napoli also shot themselves in the foot with some defensive howlers, as former Liverpool player Andrea Dossena's weak backpass was intercepted by Gerrard.

“Gerrard is a great player, no doubt, but if we hadn't been so naive as to put that backpass in there...”

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