UEFA Champions League


Napoli's coach Gennaro Gattuso cut a largely satisfied figure after watching his side contain Barcelona for long spells in their Champions League last-16 first-leg meeting.

The Azzurri took the lead through Dries Mertens against the Spanish champions only to concede an equaliser following a rare moment of distraction.

"We restricted Barcelona to virtually no chances,” Gattuso observed post-match. “They had lots of the ball but we kept them at bay. We could have spent a whole day waiting for them.

Unfortunately the reality is that against teams like this you can't afford to make the slightest mistake. Our positioning wasn't perfect when they scored, but it was one of the few opportunities they had to shoot on goal.

I'm pleased with our overall performance. We have lots of top-quality players in this squad and if we're on our game we can hold our own even in really tough matches like this.

I was happy with our attitude, although we could have done better in possession. We could have scored more goals too, but the ties remains open – it's still all to play for.

Now we must turn our attentions to Torino because we have another tricky game in a few days' time and I think we felt the fatigue a bit towards the end today.

(Photo Getty Images)