Rafa Benitez explained his choices and the tactical preparation behind Napoli’s win over Olympique Marseille.
“I am satisfied because we won, but it seems easy for me to choose a player like Dries Mertens when he works so hard in training,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after the 2-1 victory.
“Duvan Zapata gets better every day and Gonzalo Higuain doesn’t have full match fitness yet, so it was only right to give him a chance.
“We’re at 75 per cent now. The players sacrificed themselves and worked hard all over the pitch. We know that when we work all together, we can achieve something.
“My staff worked well to analyse the opposition and everyone knew the tactical plan. I think that is the key, as if you prepare it on the whiteboard and the players follow those instructions, they know where to be and what to do.”
This was an important return to form after defeats to Arsenal in the Champions League and Roma in Serie A.
“The defeat to Roma was disappointing, as we hit the woodwork twice and had great chances. I said at the time it was easier to get back on track while playing good football and that proved to be the case tonight.”
Group F could not be closer, as Napoli, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are all locked together on six points. Marseille have zero.
“We talked before the game about the group and why this was a fundamental match for us. We have another two games at home and one away, so we’ll see what happens.
“The team proved this evening it can handle and control this type of test.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!