Piotr Zielinski acknowledges Napoli must learn to work around increased tactical traps after defeats to Juventus, Inter and Real Madrid. ‘Dani Carvajal was man-marking Kvicha Kvaratskhelia.’

The Partenopei were beaten by a Federico Gatti header at the dawn of the second half, after wasting extraordinary opportunities with Kvaratskhelia and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, while Victor Osimhen had the ball in the net after he was clearly offside.

Napoli beat Juve both home and away last season, so Zielinski was asked if last year they would’ve won this game, considering they dominated possession?

“I agree. We had a good match, kept possession and created chances, but we were lacking in the finishing,” the midfielder told DAZN.

“If we had scored one or two goals in the first half when we had those opportunities, it would’ve been a different match.”

Things have also changed because Napoli are no longer a surprise, but are now treated as the reigning Champions of Italy, even by the likes of Real Madrid in the Champions League.

“Dani Carvajal was man-marking Kvaratskhelia. Osimhen is also increasingly closely marked. Everyone has to give more, if those are marked so well, then the rest of us need to take responsibility and do something to shift the balance.

“We in midfield need to move better and play between the lines with more quality. We are all technically good players, if we occupy the space better, we can create more chances for the strikers.

“The coach also asks us to try shots from distance, we’ve got to work on those and do them better.”

Luciano Spalletti took Napoli to their first Scudetto in 30 years, then was replaced by Rudi Garcia, who was sacked last month to bring in Walter Mazzarri.

However, after an opening win away to Atalanta, he has overseen three consecutive defeats to Real Madrid, Inter and Juventus.

“The coach asks us to press high straight away, so we do not back off. He also asks us to close off the passing trajectories, which we did not do very well the last two games.”

While Napoli are very different now, Zielinski believes Juventus have changed a great deal too.

“Last season they weren’t in a great period of form, but today they are solid, they score goals and do not concede. Above all, they know how to win games.”

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