Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has described Real Madrid as the ‘best team in the world’ but refuses to throw in the towel heading into the second leg.
The Serie A side lost 3-1 at the Bernabeu despite Lorenzo Insigne’s eighth minute away goal, as Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Casemiro turned the tie on it’s head.
"We faced the best team in the world but it is a pity that we made so many mistakes with the ball because we don't usually do that,” Sarri explained to PA Sport.
"While we were not at our best tonight I think we can compete with them if we play our best football. We have only a few chances now but we will try to give everything and see what happens.''
Sarri then had to defend his team following harsh criticism from owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, who criticised the performance and the Coach’s tactics.
"I am at training every day and I am the one who chooses. The president can express his ideas, I'd rather he expressed them directly to me, but in the end I decide,” he continued.
"We had [Arkadiusz] Milik on the bench because we know that in his condition he cannot do more than 10-11 minutes, but in that spell he could give us something. Why experiment? We could've lost 5-0 in that case.
"If we make that many mistakes, it's difficult to find courage. If you misplace the second pass, you won't build any pressure. Our choice of passing wasn't always on point.
"Playing Real Madrid in this stadium may well have influenced some of our younger players, but you do grow up through games like this. It's all valuable experience."