Despite a commanding 2-0 victory at home to Nice, Napoli is still left with all to play for in the second-leg of the UCL Preliminary round clash against the French side.
Most times, a squad should be very pleased with a 2-0 victory in the Champions League. However, yesterday that was not entirely the case. Due to the amount of ‘easy’ chances Napoli conjured up in yesterday’s fiery match, a taste of bitterness is still left on the tongues of Napoli fans thinking they should have made the margin of victory larger.
Objective number 1 was accomplished for the Partenopei yesterday, which was to win at all costs. They even accomplished objective number 2, keeping their own goal unscathed. Yet, fans are still unsatisfied, maybe it is due to a change of mentality at Casa Napoli? Or could it just be that Milik, Mertens, Insigne and Callejon had a ridiculous amount of easy chances that should/ could have been put away?
Sarri looked visibly upset at the amount of missed chances his squad created. He would be especially upset at Milik’s ‘whiff’ at the near post whilst unmarked. A goal from Milik would have effectively ended the tie. Now, Napoli must put in a very strong defensive performance and maybe knick in a goal or two away to Nice next Tuesday.
Nice may have lost Alassane Plea and Vincent Koziello due to suspension however, they may have newly-signed Wesley Sneijder and Mario Balotelli back from injury. Both players that can undeniably be a threat to the Partenopei. Napoli must look to get a goal earlier rather than later, to effectively kill off the tie. Then, Nice would have to score 4 goals while Napoli would have a crucial away goal.
On the opposite end, if Napoli let in an early goal, then the tie gets extremely interesting. Napoli may panic and invite more pressure from Nice. Therefore, a 3 or even 4 goal lead was paramount yesterday. Napoli fans and even fans of Italian football will be hoping to see the Azzurri in the Champions League this season alongside Juventus and Roma.
Nevertheless, Napoli must put in another great performance Tuesday to ensure their place in this year’s edition of the UCL and to maintain a clear, winning mentality for the rest of the upcoming season.