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Napoli pair satisfied at passing first test

SSC Napoli skipper Paolo Cannavaro and midfielder Gökhan Inler agreed their counterattacking game worked a treat in their opening Group A draw with Manchester City FC.

Napoli pair satisfied at passing first test
Napoli pair satisfied at passing first test ©UEFA.com

SSC Napoli duo Paolo Cannavaro and Gökhan Inler hailed the Serie A side's ability to mix solid defence with a strong counterattacking threat in their 1-1 draw at UEFA Champions League Group A rivals Manchester City FC. The City captain, Vincent Kompany, praised his opponents' defending but stressed that the English club would come good.

Paolo Cannavaro, Napoli defender
It was one of the many tests that await us in this tough schedule that lies in front of us – it was a good test and we came through it, and played a good match. We didn't stop playing our own game, because if you just defend and offer nothing, you end up losing, instead we decided to play as if it was a normal game, even if it was our first taste of the Champions League. We can say it worked, we held firm when we had to and when we saw them drop off we took advantage and pushed forward.

Gökhan Inler, Napoli midfielder
It was a very important point because this group is very tough and every point is vital. We know that at home they press very well and are strong, but we were well organised in defence and counterattacked very well in the second half and got a goal. We showed we're a strong team defensively, a young team that wants to do well. We played away from home and got a point, this is good but every game will be difficult and we have to play them and see where we are after the six games.

Vincent Kompany, City defender
We could have won but we could have lost as well so a draw is not a bad result. I thought in the first half especially that we were going to break them open, but credit to them – they defended really well and then waited for that one moment, that one chance and when they had it they took it brilliantly. I don't think there are many teams that will be able to defend against us as Napoli did.

If we carry on doing what we were doing – it was a very positive game, a very offensive game – I think we will break a lot of teams open. In the second half we lost a bit of easy possession and on the break were quite often outnumbered, which we shouldn't have been. I am sure we have got enough experience [for this competition], many players have played in it before and it is a case of remaining calm and making sure we do things right. We have as good a team as anyone.

Pablo Zabaleta, City defender
In the first half we played better, in the second half at times we seemed a bit tired but the three points were very important in the battle to win the group. It's a very tough group, with very competitive teams, Napoli played a really good game and made it difficult. At times we played with a good intensity, especially in the first half and created scoring chances. We have to try to keep doing the same and keep improving; the season has just started so we will keep getting stronger.