Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso says his side will have to battle in order to progress in the Champions League, following their 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.
Antoine Griezmann scored a second half equaliser for the visitors to cancel out Dries Mertens’ early strike on Tuesday night as the Italian side frustrated their opponents all match, eventually seeing Arturo Vidal sent off.
Gattuso remained hopeful that his side can progress and revealed (via the Daily Mail) that Napoli will not be taken down without a fight.
“Nothing is over for us when we’re playing the last 16 in the Champions League, not even when we play cards. We know the difficulties we are going through. We will buy helmets and armour. We will get all the necessary [tools] and will play the next game. Nothing is over.”
The away goal will of course benefit Barcelona ahead of the tie at Camp Nou, but considering it was his first game in charge of Napoli in Europe, Gattuso didn’t do too bad of a job.
However, his frustration was clear as he commented on his dismay at the manner in which Napoli conceded.
“I am disappointed because we made kind of a mistake defensively and they hit us,” he added. “For sure we could do better.
“There is some disappointment, we suffered but the team did almost everything right from a tactical point of view. I am happy for this, perhaps we could have done better passing. This is the only regret.”
Napoli have four outings as they prepare for the reverse tie on March 18, including the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter which they lead 1-0 on aggregate.
Their match against Torino at the weekend is one of the only Serie A games this matchday that won’t be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus scares.