Napoli boss blames UCL for setback, desires response from Osimhen and teammates

Napoli will switch to UCL to arrest their poor form. (Photo Credit: Napoli/X)

Napoli boss blames UCL for setback, desires response from Osimhen and teammates

Izuchukwu Akawor 17:24 - 18.09.2023

Napoli's manager believes Victor Osimhen and his teammates were distracted by Champions League football during the recent slip-up against Genoa.

Napoli manager Rudi Garcia has seemingly blamed the UEFA Champions League for his team’s latest slip-up in the Serie A. 

Garcia watched as Victor Osimhen and his Napoli mates avoided defeat on the road after salvaging a point at Genoa in dramatic style on Sunday. 

Napoli fought from two goals down to take a share of the spoils thanks to late goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Matteo Politano, who scored a wonder goal.

Reason for Napoli's setback

The game against Genoa was meant to see the Serie A champions put behind them the defeat to SS Lazio at home the previous weekend.

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However, it turned out to be a real battle for the side from Naples as they managed to take back home their only point in six. 

Speaking to the media after, Napoli manager, Garcia, while praising his team for how they fought back, hinted that they may have been distracted by the Champions League, which makes a return this week. 

Rudi Garcia is the new manager at Napoli (Photo Credit: Imago

“We know that we did not play well especially in the first half, creating little,” he stated per Tuttomercato. “We took two goals on corner kicks, then there was the reaction of the team. 

“The light came from the bench, but they are two lost points. Before the Champions League, it's always difficult to be focused on the league, but it's only our fault. Goals taken on set pieces show little determination.”

Garcia demands response from Osimhen, others

With Napoli switching attention from Serie A to the Champions League, where they are in Portugal to face Braga, the former Lille man has called on his players to learn from their mistakes. 

“The Champions League cannot be a goal, but it is an ambition,” he added. “Today (On Sunday), we were coming from a defeat at home and I expected a more protagonist team.”

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen was caged by Genoa || Photo credit: Imago

“I hope it serves as a lesson to make us understand that we have to play at our best from the beginning. Reaction is a good thing, but I hope it will not be useful in the future. We also need to be more solid defensively."

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