Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti insists he was unhappy with the way his side played against Empoli on Friday night.
The Partenopei beat their weekend opposition rather convincingly, running riot at home to produce a 5-1 result. However, Ancelotti claims Empoli played better, revealing he even got angry with hat-trick hero Dries Mertens for playing too wide at times.
“I was more angry than excited, because the result says we had a great game, but the performance, in fact, shows Empoli played better than we did. They had more control, more initiative and up until we went 4-1 up it was a real struggle,” he said to Sky Sport Italia (H/T Football Italia).
“We only got a draw against Roma despite playing far better, while today we were rewarded well, well beyond our merits. I told Aurelio Andreazzoli at the final whistle that Empoli played very well and I was impressed. He might’ve thought I was joking, but I really wasn’t. We were simply deadly in attack, but Empoli played better than we did.
“I even got angry with Mertens! He was playing as a winger and I told him that if he wanted to score goals, he had to go more central. He replied that assists were important too… Ah well, he got a hat-trick in the end and an assist too.”
Napoli have an important game coming up in midweek, with French giants Paris-Saint Germain set to face them in the Champions League.
Quizzed over who his attackers will be for the clash, the Italian tactician replied: “Mertens is in spectacular form at the moment. It becomes difficult to leave Insigne and Mertens out, but Milik played 10 minutes and scored a goal, so he’s doing well too.
“Empoli play the ball between the lines, so when you try to press them, it becomes difficult unless you’re keeping the full-backs tight. It was a good lesson for Tuesday, because we realised that if we’re not wary, these situations can happen. The good news is we’ve been warned."