Manchester City fans have been left outraged after Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti peels off Pep Guardiola’s praise claiming he know these mind games,
City progressed through to the last-eight of Europe’s premier club competition with a 7-0 win over RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, with five of those goals scored by Erling Haaland on a historic night for the youngster.
That win meant Manchester City secured their place in the next round with an 8-1 aggregate scoreline over the Bundesliga opponents, eagerly awaiting the outcome of Friday’s much-anticipated bumper draw.
Speaking to Sky Italy, as translated and relayed by Fabrizio Romano on Wednesday, the Manchester City boss described runaway Serie A leaders Napoli as the best team in Europe so far this season, crediting their style of play for that statement.
“Napoli are maybe the best team in Europe this year, in terms of playing style, close to Arsenal,” said Pep Guardiola.
By calling Napoli “perhaps the best team in Europe” on Tuesday night, Guardiola thought he was praising Azzurro coach Luciano Spalletti.
But the Italian, questioned this Wednesday after his team’s qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, considers these glowing statements above all as a good way to put pressure on his team.
“I don’t feel proud, I don’t feel anything. I know this game that everyone does to put pressure on the others. Are we putting Napoli in front of Manchester City? If they can spend €900m compared to our €9m, there must be a reason. It’s a game to build us up so they can knock us down.”
These Spalletti’s comments were shared on Twitter by City Xtra and it attracted plenty of attention from the club’s supporters.
@okayokay12321: “Pep gives a genuine compliment and gets met by this from this absolute freak. I hope we get them and batter them.”
@SheikhMCI: “Pep can’t even compliment anyone without them being little twats about it..”
@KinderDeBueno: “I want us to draw Napoli now .”
@EKatuta: “That’s It , Let’s get Napoli so we shut him up.”
@ZorlaPro: “Get us Napoli at the quarters . They need some humbling.”
@JMC_OfficiaI: “Pep being a classy manager as usual and getting a classless response from Spalletti, shock….”
@onnerta: “People overthink what pep says too much. It ain’t always mind games, it’s literally majority opinion that napoli are one of the best teams in Europe this year.”
@Skyblue72Paul: “If you’d told me 30 years ago that an Italian manager would be crying because an English club can outspend them I’d have laughed at you, but here we are, and it’s glorious..”
It is the first time this club has ever reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while 2005-06 was the last time three Italians made it to this stage of the tournament.
Napoli are in great form in the Champions League. Before defeating Frankfurt in the end 5-0 in the 1/8 round to enter the quarterfinals for the first time in 118 years, the home team Diego Maradona led Group A with 15 points – slightly better than Liverpool.
They also touched the Serie A championship for the first time since the 1989-1990 season, even leading the league with 68 points after 26 rounds, 18 points ahead of second-placed Inter.
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