Benitez: ‘No Napoli failure’

Rafa Benitez insists Napoli only lacked “luck” against Lazio and doesn’t believe their season is a failure.

The Partenopei had been the trophy holders, but crashed out with a 1-0 home defeat, 2-1 on aggregate.

It carried on their poor Serie A form, so in all competition Napoli have just two points from their last five games, scoring one goal, and that makes it their worst streak since March 2013.

Rafa Benitez insists Napoli only lacked “luck” against Lazio and doesn’t believe their season is a failure.

The Partenopei had been the trophy holders, but crashed out with a 1-0 home defeat, 2-1 on aggregate.

It carried on their poor Serie A form, so in all competition Napoli have just two points from their last five games, scoring one goal, and that makes it their worst streak since March 2013.

“What did we lack tonight? The goal. I compliment Lazio for qualification. We had seven chances to score, didn’t take them and the other team took advantage,” the Coach told Rai Sport.

“I think getting to the semi-final and the Europa League quarter-final is nothing to be sniffed at. The attitude of the team and the chances we create are obvious.

“What did President Aurelio De Laurentiis say? Nobody is happy.”

Napoli won the Coppa Italia, then the Italian Super Cup against Juventus in December, but have slipped since. Will this season be considered a failure?

“It depends on where we start from and where we want to end up. We have to keep going in every game and give 100 per cent.

“We have to wait until the end of the season to see what happens. We created many opportunities tonight.

“We are all responsible when a team creates seven clear chances and doesn’t score. We need to create more and score them. With more luck, things would be different.

“I repeat, a team that creates seven clear chances is enough to explain how we did in this game. Against Atalanta, they had one shot on goal and it was a foul that everyone saw. I think we deserved a lot more from recent games.”

Benitez was asked by the Napoli-supporting pundit Gianni Di Marzio in the studio whether his mind was still on the job and if the season would be a failure if they failed to win the Europa League?

“I want to prepare for the game with Fiorentina, then after that I’ll talk it over with the President.

“I think a lot depends on the objective and the journey. In my view the team deserved more in recent matches and that will help us prepare for the next game.”

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