Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri was delighted with his side's second half display against Lazio, after recovering from an early goal to cruise to a 4-1 victory, and reclaim the top spot Juventus had temporarily taken from them.
In what was a huge game for both sides, Napoli had to win in order to restore their Serie A lead and maintain their challenge for a first Scudetto since 1990.
But it was Lazio who started the much brighter, and speaking after the game to Premium Sport (via Calciomercato), Sarri confirmed: "In the first half they had the physical edge over us, we were a little nervous because of the Ghoulam injury."
Grande vittoria dedicato a nostro fratello @ghoulam.faouzi— Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) February 10, 2018
Forza Napoli sempre 💙
Forza Ghoulam fratello mio 💙
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The Italian was referring to the news that their integral left back Faouzi Ghoulam had received further setbacks in his recovery from a knee injury, with his side showing their support before the game for the Algerian with commemerative t-shirts.
In what was an action packed game, Sarri was also banished from the sidelines just before half-time after overly berating the officials following a challenge from Milinkovic Savic.
The tactician admitted: 'In the second half, we started to play the right way and things opened up for us. I was lucky to watch the second half from the stands, I enjoyed it.
"At half-time I tried to calm the players down a little since I was upset because of my sending off. I told the referee that the MIlinkovic foul deserved a red card and not only a yellow card."
However, he would not be drawn into any public bashing of the VAR system, which has come under fire in recent weeks in Italy, simply declaring: "The league is trying it at the moment, I am sure we will get to use it in a more effective way in the future."