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Benitez delighted with Napoli’s ‘intensity’ on the pitch
By Andrew Scott Saturday, 7 March 2015 09:10
Rafael Benitez, Napoli manager, was delighted with his team’s “intensity” when they fought back to get a draw of 1-1 in an away meeting with Lazio on Wednesday. White label sportsbooks also saw a very exciting match, and were impressed with the quality shown by Benitez’s side.
In the Copa Italia’s first leg of the semi-final, Miroslav Klose was the one to score the opener in the first half, but Manolo Gabbiadini evened things out in the middle of the second, with an excellent performance made by Gonzalo Higuain.
The game’s result is leaving the tie in a good position before the second leg gets underway, even though Benitez will without a doubt have plenty of confidence of his side moving on to the final, considering the fact that it’s been six years since Lazio won a meeting at Napoli.
After the game was over, the manager said: “We saw a game with intensity and pace – the rain made it feel like the Premier League – and the players were perfect considering we have so many games at the moment.
“I said many times that we rotate the squad to maintain sharpness, which was important tonight against an intense side like Lazio and especially on a quick pitch.
“This is a strong squad. Competition between players allows us to reach these games with the right level of intensity and spurs everyone on to do better.
“I am satisfied with the team performance. We win and lose all together.”
In the meantime, Stefano Pioli, Lazio manager, believes that his team still have the opportunity to reach the final – something that white label sportsbooks believe is very possible – even though he did admit that his side will be playing as the underdogs in the meeting.
“Clearly at this moment the result favours our opponents, but the second leg remains open,” he said.
“We are satisfied with the performance, but should’ve made more of the chances we created to score more.
“We will go to the San Paolo to score a goal, which is our attitude in every game anyway, and have a month to prepare.
“It is a tough fixture, but I believe we have the quality and characteristics to qualify. Of course we wanted a better result tonight, but we have the potential to score in Naples.
“We believe in our chances and tonight’s performance should give our players more belief too.”