Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti bemoaned his side's under-par performance as they fell to a surprise 2-1 defeat away at relegation-threatened Empoli on Wednesday night.
The result leaves the Azzuri 18 points behind league leaders Juventus, meaning the Turin side need just two more wins to wrap up the title. They do however have a cushion on third placed Inter, who remain ten points behind their Naples rivals.
Perhaps this comfortable position was to explain for their lacklustre performance in which they created few chances from open play. Whatever the reason, Ancelotti was far from impressed with how his Napoli side applied themselves throughout the 90 minutes.
As quoted by Forza Italian Football, the former Chelsea boss said: "We were off the pace from the first minute until the last and were second best. We deserved to lose this game.
"We just have to roll up our sleeves now and look ahead, there isn’t much else to say". With the Serie A trophy all but engraved with Juve's name, Napoli's focus has turned to the Europa League, where they face Premier League side Arsenal in the quarter final.
However, following defeat at Empoli, Ancelotti warned that his team must improve their performance if they are to stand any chance of progressing. He continued: "The next game against Genoa is one we must prepare properly for so that we are ready for the game against Arsenal because in this game we were unfocused, inattentive and we didn’t follow our plan."
The former AC Milan manager has enjoyed a good record against Arsenal as a manager, winning five and losing just two of the eight matches in which he has faced them.
However, with Arsenal in red hot form having just won their tenth home game in a row, Ancelotti knows his Napoli team will need to massively improve if they are to take a positive result back to the Stadio San Paolo for the second leg.