Luciano Spalletti believes Napoli were denied ‘clear penalty’ in Champions League defeat to Milan

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti believes that the Partenopei deserved a first-half penalty for Rafael Leão’s foul on Hirving Lozano inside the box.

Milan had a penalty of their own in the first half but Olivier Giroud was denied by Alex Meret. In the second half, when the score was still 1-0, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia missed a penalty of his own before Victor Osimhen drew level in the tie in stoppage time.

But a moment in the first half saw Napoli denied a penalty when Leao had fouled Lozano in the box. In the interview with the press after the game, Spalletti spoke about the refereeing across the two legs (via TMW) and he had some criticism.

He stated: “In my opinion, two players were unjustly suspended in the first leg. On what was the evaluation of the first game, I also saw the newspapers lined up in the inconsistency. Then tonight in the 37th minute there is the clear penalty that you can’t see. And we don’t talk about contact, it’s contact. When it’s impact, it’s impact. Tonight there was an impact, because it twisted his ankle.”

Spalletti was also asked about the future of the Napoli side and he stated that the future is bright for quite a young bunch of players.

The Italian said: “We have a very strong and young team. I thought that by applying our hands well, trying to convince them to play for important things. There were falls because I had planned to lose some games but they were playing the football we liked. I have to say that the the boys have been very good all year, especially in the Champions League and I mean in terms of mentality. Just tonight that we have come out of this competition, I tell my boys that they have been exceptional and that I love them.”

Napoli have never reached the Champions League quarter-final and this is the first time they had come this far in the club’s history. Milan have reached their first CL semi-final since 2007 and considering their inconsistent form in the league, it is vital for them to progress.



Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN

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