Saturday February 12 2011
Ranieri: 'Napoli played better'

Claudio Ranieri could only give credit to Napoli for tonight's result. “They played better than we did and even those on the bench were working hard.”

Roma's Scudetto hopes are now over after a 5-3 defeat to Inter and this 2-0 home loss.

“We played against a side where all XI work hard, even those on the bench were working,” said the Coach.

“We only had one chance in the first half when it was still goalless, then the game was in Napoli's hands and they played better than us.

“We have to put up our hands and compliment them, recognising they put in a much, much more determined performance.

“They showed real strength, desire and spirit. I can only praise them. Why do Napoli run more than Roma? I don't know, you'd have to ask Walter Mazzarri.”

There were question marks over the penalty that broke the deadlock, as Marek Hamsik might've tripped over his own feet.

“The assistant referee made the decision, so we must accept it,” shrugged Ranieri.

“When 1-0 up, it got even easier for Napoli, as by attacking and defending en masse they caused us huge problems, putting pressure on every area of the field. We couldn't build any meaningful moves. Congratulations, Napoli.”

The Scudetto ambitions are now over, though the Giallorossi are in the Champions League and the Coppa Italia.

“I don't think a single game can cancel out a year and a half of work. We mustn't be downhearted, just as we weren't jumping for joy before. This season we have some difficulties and are not having the same run as last year, but we won't give up.

“Now we have to focus on Shakhtar Donetsk, another side who work hard and have some excellent individuals.”