Zielinski and Mertens admit Napoli let themselves down for Barcelona defeat

Napoli players were disappointed with themselves after their Europa League playoff defeat to Barcelona.

Napoli lost 4-2 at home to lose the tie 5-3 on aggregate.

Piotr Zielinski later said: “Surely the approach was wrong, we can’t concede such easy goals straight away. Then we had to make better use of the spaces behind their defensive line and we also lost possession very often when trying to build from the back. They have created many opportunities by making the best of our mistakes with the ball.

“We must forget about this game quickly because we did not play at our standards. Barcelona are a great team. When they move the ball well it is not easy, our pressing was not always good and they often forced us to run for nothing.”

Dries Mertens also said: “Too bad because today was a beautiful night, the stadium was full and there was a perfect atmosphere. Barcelona played a great game, we weren’t at our level but we mustn’t lower our heads. I know how strong this group is and I know what we can do. Today is a a tough day, but we have to sleep well because on Sunday we have another important game.”

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