's cookie policy has been updated. Our website has been developed in a way to allow you to read all our articles even when cookies are disabled but third party cookies may be placed on your machine to track your use of our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive these cookies, alternatively, click "TELL ME MORE" for more information including opt-out instructions.

LATEST NEWS 11:37 Would Harry Kane Thrive Overseas? He is one of the hottest properties around in English football and rumours persist that he is high on Real ... 15:45 Mauricio Pochettino admits draw against Liverpool is a fair result Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino admits this afternoon's 1-1 draw against Liverpool was a ...

Arsene Wenger insists: Olivier Giroud is not just a substitute here at Arsenal Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes striker Olivier Giroud can still be an asset in his squad this season. The Frenchman has struggled to enjoy regular first team football at the... - Read article
Arsene Wenger admits Top Four finish is difficult for Arsenal Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says a Top Four finish will not be easy to achieve for his side despite a vital 2-1 win away at Middlesbrough. The Gunners are currently sixth in the... - Read article
Arsene Wenger explains when striker Lucas will be back in action Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he has no new injury concerns after the mid-week draw at home against Paris Saint-Germain. Defender Hector Bellerin and midfielder Santi Cazorla are... - Read article

Napoli Jersey
» News

Rafa Benitez proud of players, unhappy with referee's penalty decisions


Napoli coach Rafa Benitez was proud of his players after the 1-1 draw away at Sampdoria.

The Partenopei were reduced to ten men in the second half but kept fighting until the very end as they cling on to third place in the Serie A table.

"It was an important draw to achieve against a difficult Sampdoria team," Benitez said.

"I liked the reaction after going down to ten men.

"We didn't perform in the first half but we could have taken the lead through [Gonzalo] Higuain. I however liked the team in the second half, the midfield and defence worked hard as we managed to keep possession."

Napoli were denied a clear penalty when Sampdoria's Luca Rizzo brought down Raul Albiol in the penalty area as the referee waved played on much to the surprise of the Spaniard.

"Maybe we made a mistake when they scored but it's fair to say we had two clear penalties that the referee didn't give," Benitez said.

"Credit to Sampdoria but we finished the game on the attack showing a good fitness level.

"We knew we were playing against a quality and solid team, a team that is doing really well at home. We had Insigne, Michu and De Guzman out injured as well as Mertens who is still not 100% fit.

"So we are a little bit short at the moment but I prefer to focus on the important run of positive results.

"I knew this campaign was going to be intense but I'm optimistic."

Napoli host in-form Empoli on Sunday and the Spaniard knows it will not be an easy game.

"We will play one of the league's best technical teams," Benitez said.

"I don't say so because we will face them next but because I observed them. We have to be focused, that's our objective."

Featured in article
Rafa Benitez