Carlo Ancelotti concedes Napoli were “too slow” in every area of their draw with Crvena Zvezda, but “there’s no need to be too negative.”
The Partenopei had the best chances at the Marakana, Lorenzo Insigne hitting the crossbar and Mario Rui scraping it with a free kick, but Dries Mertens missed a sitter and Jose Callejon was denied by a goal-line clearance.
As Liverpool beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in stoppages at Anfield with a Roberto Firmino goal off the bench, Napoli are currently second in the group.
“We were a little bit slow in our passing, a little slow getting on the end of passes and made a few too many mistakes,” confessed Ancelotti on Sky Sport Italia.
“We dropped two points in a difficult group, that is true, but there are another five games to go. We mustn’t be so dramatic. We are currently second in the group and there’s no need to be too negative.
“It’s a pity, as we came so close to scoring a goal.”
It is becoming an issue, because Ancelotti’s men have scored only one goal in their last three competitive games.
“It was inevitable there would be no real football in the last 15 minutes, as I’ve seen Red Star do this many times before. They are professionals at time-wasting, diving and at times the referee fell for it. That’s not the problem, though, we should’ve scored earlier.”
Arkadiusz Milik again started with Lorenzo Insigne in practically a 4-4-2 formation, but it proved relatively toothless.
“I wanted to introduce Dries Mertens with the first substitution. I thought about changing Allan at half-time, as his performance was affected by the yellow card, but he’s an important player and I wanted to see how the game panned out,” continued Ancelotti.
“I think we took too much time to get forward and by the time we did, their defenders had got back into position. We then tried to force the game down the centre and didn’t use the width enough.
“Insigne is very good in tight spaces and does good work off the ball too, so he can give us some important options in this new role.
“Once Mertens came on, we put him wider on the left, but that position needs pace and by that time he was a little tired.”
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