Spalletti admits Napoli lack ‘character’ in big situations and brands refereeing ‘unfair’

By Oliver Fisher -

Luciano Spalletti was not happy with the referee’s performance during Napoli’s 1-0 defeat to AC Milan last night, but praised his side for theirs.

Ismael Bennacer’s goal towards the end of the first half was the only thing that separated the two sides in the first leg on the night, meaning it is all to play for next Tuesday at the Maradona, but Napoli will be without two key performers.

The away side lost Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa after was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession and thus he will miss the return leg, while Kim Min Jae will also miss out as he received a yellow card after complaining about one of the referee’s decisions.

After the defeat against Milan, Napoli boss Spalletti spoke to Sky to try and digest the result and how his side played in front of such a hostile crowd, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“We played with the right attitude, we tried to play the game even with one man down. Compliments go to Maignan for what he has done, they are strong,” he said.

On the return leg: “All absences are important, but we have other players to make up for certain absences. It’s been like this throughout the season, otherwise we wouldn’t have had certain results. I’m sorry not to have Anguissa back, in my opinion it’s unfair not to have him, but that’s okay.”

On the refereeing: “Anguissa we had to replace, I was choosing who to put on. Sorry to have wasted time. The referee I won’t comment on, Rosetti was there and he will do it. Kim? There is a lot of talk about his attitude, but not nothing is said about the flag split by Leao. However, I don’t want to talk about the referee, but it’s all clear.”

On the performance: “We are a team that still needs to be developed in character, but there are excellent qualities in the team. Sometimes we happen to be sensitive to certain situations, such as the atmosphere in which the league match was played.

“Tonight we felt the stadium for the whole game. An experienced team may not be affected by certain things, while we are more sensitive and suffer what happens around us. We don’t feel too good, unfortunately we also suffered certain situations last year.”

Tags AC Milan Luciano Spalletti Milan Napoli


  1. He is right in both cases they are weak mentally and yes referee was horrible that was a penalty on Salemakers

  2. There was penalty on Milan on Krunic, when Kjaer hit the post. No one paused that situation, when Napoli player with both hand on Krunic throw him away…
    Spaghetti speaks about referee….

    They can’t stop Leao. We need to use more od him and Theo on left flank, and keep Bennacer, Krunic, Tonali more in the middle to cover them both.

    1. As soon as Di Lorenzo got booked I thought they would keep giving Leão the ball to go 1v1 with him. I also would have liked to see him turn into pressure in the box a few times to draw a penalty instead of always retreating to the wing.

  3. Well, the referee warned Napoli players to stop committing fouls and complaining. They didn’t listen. Obviously, it ended up like that. I would say the referee was too kind to Napoli to forgive them at least two penalties.

  4. The results Napoli is getting in d last 2 matches against Milan is a lash back from spalleti describing his team as under dogs when quarter final pairing was made. It was psychological and unnecessary considering their accomplishments Vis a Vis Milan this season. In addition to osimhen’s absence.

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