Benitez wants cutting edge

Rafael Benitez feels Napoli are lacking bite in the final third after his side needed two penalties to beat Torino.

Last Updated: 28/10/13 at 13:57 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: Demands more of his players

Rafael Benitez: Demands more of his players

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Napoli head coach Rafael Benitez feels his side are lacking serious bite in the final third after his side needed two penalties to secure a 2-0 victory over Torino.

A pair of spot-kicks from Gonzalo Higuain sealed the win that keeps the Azzurri tied for second place with Juventus and within five points of leaders Roma, but Benitez was disappointed to see numerous good chances to extend the scoreline from open play go to waste.

Toro goalkeeper Daniele Padelli had a busy afternoon with Higuain, Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens all going close and their Spanish boss thought at least one of the forwards should have notched.

"We should have finished the clash 3-0," he told sscnapoli.it. "The team tackled the match well, played forcefully and beautifully but failed in the finishing.

"After the second penalty, we should have scored the third goal.

"In matches like these, one cannot afford to leave the match open, especially after dominating the match for long stretches.

"Had Torino scored, they would have opened the match up and even though we had dominated, it would have become difficult for us."

"The guys have the right mindset to always win: the most important thing is to work hard and pursue this winning attitude.

"We are not at the top yet, I believe that we showed only 75 per cent of our potential and we should give our maximum as soon as possible."

Tough games against Fiorentina and Catania beckon for the Naples outfit before Marseille arrive at the Stadio San Paolo for a Champions League match.

While Torino coach Gianpiero Ventura was left frustrated with both penalty calls - the first awarded for Nicola Bellomo's trip on Mertens, the second given for Kamil Glik's unfortunate hand-ball - his main concern is a lack of fitness among his players.

Energetic winger Alessio Cerci tested Jose Reina early on but appeared uncharacteristically exhausted by half-time and had to be replaced.

Ventura said: "When you're passive with both your legs and your head then it's impossible to get a result in Serie A, especially at such a difficult venue.

"I'm perplexed by our physical condition, we hardly even got a kick. Even those players who came off the bench were tired and we need to understand why.

"In the three years I've been here this has never happened and I want to understand what is going on.

"I don't blame the players, obviously it's a more general problem."

A third defeat of the season leaves Torino 12th in the standings ahead of Wednesday's trip to Livorno.


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