Barcelona could have played all night and not scored again – Gattuso

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso insists his tactics worked against Barcelona but admitted frustration at his side being held to a draw.

Dries Mertens had opened the scoring with a curler from the edge of the box, matching Marek Hamsik’s all-time club scoring record of 121 goals, but Antoine Griezmann netted an equaliser for the visitors in the second half.

Setien’s side typically dominated the ball – they passed the ball 797 times and enjoyed 67% of possession but managed just two shots on target, compared to four of Napoli.

Napoli sat very deep and soaked up a lot of pressure, with the aim of hitting the Blaugrana on the counter-attack and indeed appeared to create more of the clear opportunities despite their lack of possession.

“They hardly had a single shot on goal – they could’ve been there all night and not scored, but we conceded after one single error,” Gattuso told reporters, as cited by Diario AS.

“That people think that our story is over is not a bad thing for us. We will play until the end.

“It’s our duty to go there and play for qualification. Napoli have many strong players, Barcelona have something more, but if we play with focus then we can have our chances.

“After this result, I am a little sad. We could do better. We were punished a lot for a mistake, but I  am happy for the team’s work.

“Barça encountered difficulties jere because we have been very attentive. We have failed only in the final third.

“Now we have to show patience, desire, energy and not lose your mind. A 1-0 or 1-1 does not change the tie so much, we will have to play a great game against Barcelona. But now you have to think about the match against Torino.

“We have to do things later and get more vertical. We could have done better. Maybe we were too afraid of losing the ball.”

Despite Barcelona’s good result, they suffered problems as Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets are now both suspended for the return leg.

The second leg will be played at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium next month with the tie tentatively poised.

Tags Gennaro Gattuso Napoli
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