Gennar Gattuso felt Barcelona hardly ‘tickled’ his Napoli side in 1-1 Champions League draw at Stadio San Paolo.
Dries Mertens broke the deadlock but a lacklustre Barca side managed to equalize at the hour’s mark.
Quique Setien’s men could not break down the defensively compact Napoli side, feeling lucky to have walked away with a draw.
“Since [Barca coach Quique] Setien arrived, they systematically push five or six players into attack, they don’t just pass and that’s it,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia. “They force you to defend deep and we had to play like that, because if there were spaces back there, they could really hurt us.
“I think they barely grazed us tonight, they hardly had a single shot on goal. They could’ve been there all night and not scored, but we conceded after one single error. They didn’t hurt us, it barely tickled.”
Napoli could have taken back the lead but Antoine Griezmann put them on hold. “We could’ve done better on a few counter-attacks, but the team did what we had to do. We allowed them very few opportunities,” Gattuso added.
“I am a little disappointed that we didn’t create more playing out from the back and in possession, but a little fatigue can happen when you work so hard throughout. Unfortunately, you can’t make a single mistake against Barcelona.
“Naturally, qualification is wide open, we will have time to prepare for the second leg and know they will be missing Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal, as they’ll be suspended. It’s our duty to go there and play for qualification. Napoli have many strong players, Barcelona have something more, but if we play with focus then we can have our chances.”