Carlo Ancelotti has admitted his Napoli side must improve if they are to stand a chance against Arsenal in the Europa League, following I Partenopei's 1-1 draw with ten-man Genoa.
Napoli looked to be in control when Dries Mertens opened the scoring shortly after Stefano Sturaro was sent off for the visitors, but an equalising strike from Darko Lazovic proved to be pivotal, as Gli Azzurri couldn't get back into their stride in the second half.
Ancelotti was well aware that Napoli put in an underwhelming performance, admitting that they must learn to manage games in a smarter manner once they take the lead.
"We knew the difficulties we could run into in Empoli, although the difficulties we ran into tonight were a little more unexpected,” Ancelotti confessed to Sky Sport Italia via Football Italia.
“We’re defending badly at the moment, even when it was 11 against ten, and that means we cannot control the game. If you control the game, you don’t allow counter-attacks, you don’t let the opposition to turn and run at you.
"We’ve always struggled against defences that clam up, but we need to defend better and that means attacking better too."
Napoli travel to face Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday and the Italian coach was well aware of the threat that the Gunners pose if his side don't buck up their ideas.
“It’s an alarm bell, certainly, because if we play like this in London, then we’re in trouble. It is unusual to see Napoli doing that, so we have four days to focus back on the basics, because these are basics we’re getting wrong.”
"If you want to attack Arsenal, you must defend well too.
“We are in very good shape physically, the players are monitored on a daily basis and the statistics are all very positive. It’s good that Lorenzo Insigne was able to play 30 minutes and is now available against Arsenal.”