Luciano Spalletti has warned that Napoli can’t think they’ve reached the Champions League quarter-finals already despite a dominating victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in Frankfurt.
Serie A leaders triumphed 2-0 at Deutsche Bank Park when Victor Osimhen and Giovanni Di Lorenzo scored against Eintracht Frankfurt, who were sent off by Randal Colo Muani in the second half.
Napoli have never been in the last eight of the Champions League but are in control of their final match-16 ahead of the second leg in Naples on 15 March.
However, Spalletti refused to rest on his laurels, arguing that nothing had been achieved yet.
Asked if Napoli and Real Madrid were favorites to thrash Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield in another match on Tuesday, Spalletti replied: “Can we do it again?
“We have to, let’s see if we stay on the right track, stay at the helm. We cannot think that we are automatically finished.”
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia saw Kevin Trapp save a penalty four minutes before the opening of Osimhen’s first half, and Napoli’s poor penalty record continued into the Champions League.
The Parthenopei have only scored three of the six penalties taken this year, and only Monaco and Sevilla (in 2016–17) have conceded that many in a single campaign, not counting shootouts, since Opta data began in 2003–2003. 04 season.
Kvaratskhelia bounced back to end Di Lorenzo’s quiet finish, his 13th assist in all competitions this season – no other Serie A player has done so far.
EVERYTHING IS OVER
90+5 | #EintrachtNapoli 0-2
— Official SSC Naples (@en_sscnapoli) February 21, 2023
Spalletti cited Napoli’s resilience as a key factor in their success.
“Here it must be emphasized that the team did not give up after the penalty, but immediately scored, insisted, because they wanted to win,” he added.
“It’s right to think, act like that and want to win the match. We want to win them all, the matches are over so we don’t come back.
“We dreamed of this game here as a kid, we can’t let it down. With the score 2-0, there was an opportunity to score a third goal, we did something well, something a little worse, we could have tried harder.”
The win marked Napoli’s first Champions League play-off away win, having lost the previous three as they chase Serie A and European glory.