Napoli have completed the signing of striker Giovanni Simeone from Hellas Verona.

Simeone, who is a son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego, has joined Napoli on an initial loan with an obligation to buy if certain clauses are triggered.

Napoli announced the signing on Thursday, with Simeone opting for the number 18 shirt.

The 27-year-old has spent the past six seasons in Serie A with Genoa, Fiorentina, Cagliari and Verona, whom he only joined permanently in June after impressing on loan.

He scored 17 goals in the Italian top flight last season – a tally bettered only by Lautaro Martinez (21), Dusan Vlahovic (24) and Ciro Immobile (27) – while assisting five more.

Five-cap Argentina international Simeone's arrival at Napoli comes on the back of the club's record goalscorer Dries Mertens departing on a free transfer this window.

Napoli have also waved goodbye to fellow regular goalscorer Lorenzo Insigne since the end of last season, as well as David Ospina, Kalidou Koulibaly and Arkadiusz Milik.

Luciano Spalletti's side are believed to be closing in on further deals for Giacomo Raspadori from Sassuolo and Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele.

Napoli are closing in on the signing of Verona striker Giovanni Simeone as Luciano Spalletti said the Serie A club are beginning a "new cycle" following a host of big-name exits.

Spalletti's team threatened a first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era before tailing off to finish third last season, but have since seen the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne depart.

Reports have suggested Napoli will combat the losses of Mertens and Insigne – the top two goalscorers in the club's history – by bringing in Verona striker Simeone on an initial loan deal.

Simeone – the son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone – scored 17 Serie A goals last season, a tally bettered only by Ciro Immobile (27), Dusan Vlahovic (24) and Lautaro Martinez (21).

The Argentine averaged a goal every 157 minutes throughout the campaign, converting 55 per cent of his big chances.

Ahead of Napoli travelling to Verona for their Serie A opener on Monday, Spalletti revealed the striker's arrival was imminent as he pledged to rebuild the Partenopei's side.

"If everything is okay, of course he will come, we are waiting for him, if you stay, say hello to him too!" Spalletti said amid reports Simeone was undergoing a medical with Napoli.

"He is one we need and Naples is what he needs, it is a correct purchase.

"We will do our best right away, and that I am convinced that we will make the fans fall in love again, as happened last year.

"Now we are talking about a Napoli that no longer sees in their ranks the most important players, and there is talk of players for a new cycle.

"It's a responsibility that stimulates me a lot. Of course, a little support from the city and society is needed, the most difficult things are those of the changing room dynamics.

"They changed without [Faouzi] Ghoulam, [David] Ospina, Mertens and Insigne. In addition to the game dynamics there are those of character, and we have to recreate those there. I'm not afraid of anything." 

Paris Saint-Germain have been open about wanting three more new signings before the transfer window closes.

PSG head coach Christophe Galtier also explained that among those was the desire to bring in a forward.

The French champions have already sealed the services of Renato Sanches, Nordi Mukiele, Hugo Ekitike, Vitinha and Nuno Mendes during the off-season.

TOP STORY – PSG IN TALKS WITH MAN UTD'S RASHFORD

PSG have opened talks with Marcus Rashford's representatives about joining the Ligue 1 club from Manchester United, according to L'Equipe.

The England international striker is contracted with United until 2023, having signed a four-year deal in 2019 with the option to extend by a further year.

Sky Sports, however, claims that PSG are unlikely to follow up on their initial interest, having first enquired about Rashford last week.

ROUND-UP

Manchester City are targeting Atletico Madrid's Brazilian Renan Lodi as they look to add a new left-back, according to The Telegraph. City want to bolster their options in the position following Oleksandr Zinchenko's departure for Arsenal. City are also considering Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney, claims 90min.

– Foot Mercato reports that Italian champions Inter are looking at Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo as a possible replacement for Martin Skriniar, should he leave. Todibo also has interest from PSG and Chelsea . Inter have also been linked to Borussia Dortmund's Swiss defender Manuel Akanji along with Lazio veteran Francesco Acerbi.

– Chelsea's Emerson Palmieri is drawing interest from both Nottingham Forest and Atalanta, according to the Evening Standard. The 28-year-old left-back is being squeezed out at Stamford Bridge following Marc Cucurella's arrival.

Napoli and Argentina international forward Giovanni Simeone have reached a verbal agreement, reports Sky Sport Italia. Simeone is set to join Napoli on loan from Hellas Verona, but Sky Sport Italia claims Juventus are prepared to poach him at the last minute.

Stefano Pioli declared he was "in love" with his Milan players after the Rossoneri came from behind to beat Hellas Verona 3-1, keeping the destiny of the Scudetto in their hands.

Marco Faraoni headed Verona into the lead after 38 minutes at the Bentegodi before Sandro Tonali, playing on his 22nd birthday, restored parity before the interval on Sunday.

Tonali was again on target four minutes into the second half before substitute Alessandro Florenzi sealed Milan's fourth comeback win – and second against Verona – of the Serie A season.

Victory moved Milan back to the Serie A summit as the Rossoneri, who are searching for their first Scudetto since 2010-11, sit two points clear of Inter with two league games left.

Coach Pioli was visibly delighted when speaking to DAZN after the game, heaping praise on his Milan group who never seem to know when they are beaten.

"I am very much in love with my players," the Italian said. "I know what they are putting in and what a journey we have been on.

"Courage and belief come from your experiences. Today we went behind despite having started well, but we believe in ourselves and step by step we are overcoming all obstacles. We have to continue like this.

"I am satisfied with today's victory, but we are already thinking about the next match [at home to Atalanta next Sunday] which will be complicated."

Rafael Leao, who created a game-high four chances, provided two identical assists, speeding down the left flank before squaring for Tonali to tap in either side of half-time.

Pioli was quick to praise the Milan duo for their efforts against Verona.

"They are young, but strong," he said of Leao and Tonali. "I told them on the second day of the summer training camp. I found two different guys than at the end of last season."

Elaborating on Tonali, who is the youngest midfielder to have scored five or more goals in Serie A this season, Pioli drew comparisons to Rossoneri great Gennaro Gattuso and Roma legend Daniele De Rossi.

"Seeing the training sessions and the matches, you discover new characteristics also of the players," Pioli said. "If we build with two midfielders, we make more use of the full-backs, like Sandro did tonight.

"Tonali has an incredible engine and work rate, he can become a great mezzala [a wide central midfielder]. He's showing incredible growth.

"It's difficult to compare two players. When I met him for the first time, I asked him what his favourite position on the pitch was, and he replied that everyone compares him to Pirlo.

"But he said he feels more like Gattuso. If I really have to name a name, I would say De Rossi."

Sandro Tonali marked his 22nd birthday by scoring twice as Milan moved a step closer to the Serie A title with a 3-1 triumph at Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Inter leapfrogged Stefano Pioli's side at the summit with victory over Empoli on Friday, and Milan's response at the Bentegodi started poorly when Marco Faraoni headed Verona in front.

However, Tonali struck either side of half-time – with the excellent Rafael Leao assisting both – to turn the game around.

Alessandro Florenzi's late third made sure as the Rossoneri remain on course for their first Scudetto since 2010-11, back two points ahead of Inter with two games to play.

 

Lorenzo Montipo had produced a fantastic save to deny a Rade Krunic header in the opening stages, before Tonali saw a low finish ruled out for offside following a VAR check.

David Calabria's volley was turned away by Montipo, while Gianluca Caprari and Giovanni Simeone each arrowed narrowly wide at the other end in a frantic first half.

Verona broke the deadlock when Darko Lazovic chipped in for the unmarked Faraoni to nod home, but Tonali equalised 10 minutes later, prodding in after a mazy left-wing run by Leao.

Leao repeated the trick after the interval, driving forward on the counter-attack before drilling across the face of goal for the incoming Tonali to tap in and nudge Milan ahead.

Adrien Tameze fired a presentable opportunity wildly over as Verona searched for a response, but Milan instead sealed victory when substitute Florenzi – on the pitch just 119 seconds – powered into the bottom-left corner with four minutes to go.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli has called on the Rossoneri to show they are "the best" side in Serie A when they attempt to return to the top of the table against Hellas Verona on Sunday.

The Rossoneri are unbeaten in 13 league games, winning eight and drawing five, with only Liverpool on a longer unbeaten run than Pioli's team in the top-five European leagues, ahead of the Reds' Premier League clash with Tottenham on Saturday.

However, Milan dropped to second in Serie A after rivals Inter beat Empoli 4-2 in a thrilling contest on Friday, as the local rivals remain locked in a tense battle for the title.

Milan have more points at this stage of a Serie A season (77 from 35 matches) than they have taken since picking up the same amount in 2010-11, when they went on to win the Scudetto under Massimiliano Allegri. 

Speaking ahead of the crucial trip to Verona, Pioli said his side are on the cusp of an incredible achievement and the time has come to show their quality.

"Now we are missing seven points to do something extraordinary and to show that we are the best in this league," he said.

"We are now at a point where all the matches will have a weight for the final goal. I have seen great attention and motivation. 

"We know that Verona can create difficulties for us, but the difficulties we have faced lately have made us grow. It's time to show that we are not only good, but that we can be better."

Milan have conceded just one goal in their last eight league games, boasting the best defensive record across the top-five European leagues since March, and have earned a reputation for grinding out crucial results recently.

The Rossoneri needed late goals to beat Fiorentina and Lazio in their last two outings, and Pioli said his team's willingness to fight to the end could prove crucial in the title race, calling on Milan to follow the example set by Real Madrid in their extraordinary Champions League semi-final win over Manchester City on Wednesday.

"We have to play as Milan, then if we win 1-0, or with a few more goals, the important thing is to be a team and play with emotion," he added. "It's our attitude. Even if the match is long, as always, we will try to change characteristics during the match.

"The steps to take are always the same, we want to try to dominate the games, so we must be a team from start to finish, [with] the mentality from Real Madrid. 

"I don't see my players anxious and worried, I see them motivated. We are focused, not anxious and frantic. There has been an exceptional growth. I thought I had to be here to calm them down, but not really, they are always calm and smiling, happy to be here."

Finally, Pioli revealed he did not see the Nerazzurri come from 2-0 down to beat Empoli, as he was too busy watching teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Open.

"I reviewed our training and then watched a great tennis match," he laughed. "Alcaraz is a phenomenon!"

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi was pleased to see his team pick up where they left off after following last week's win in the Derby d'Italia at Juventus with another three points against Hellas Verona on Saturday.

First-half goals from Nicolo Barella and Edin Dzeko sealed a routine 2-0 win for the Nerazzurri, who moved up to second ahead of Napoli and just a point behind city rivals Milan.

It was the first time Inter have won back-to-back Serie A games this year. Indeed, they have done so for the first time since a run of eight league wins between November 2021 and January 2022.

That was what pleased Inzaghi most about the victory, and he told reporters after the game: "It is an important signal to give continuity. It was vital to follow up on the match in Turin.

"We had prepared well for this match because we knew about the strength of Verona, who came from an excellent streak. We played very well in the first half, while in the second we managed the match.

"In the last matches the results had not arrived and the head was heavy, periods like this are understandable."

 

Despite being the reigning champions, Inzaghi believes he has seen a progression in the team since his arrival.

"When I arrived I was aware of the difficulties, but the club absolutely did not want to give up despite the necessary sacrifices," he added. "Trust in this team has never failed."

The former Lazio boss made changes to his starting line-up, bringing Federico Dimarco in for Alessandro Bastoni, explaining: "Dimarco has very important characteristics and in Naples he had done well, while Bastoni came from a tour de force.

"I have the obligation to make the choices and we evaluated that it was a match in which Dimarco was better placed to play.

Stefan de Vrij was forced off at half-time at San Siro, but Inzaghi insisted it was merely a precaution.

"He has had flexor fatigue and it shouldn't be anything serious," he reassured reporters.

Inter moved within a point of Serie A leaders Milan with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona.  

Aiming to win back-to-back league games for the first time this year following their Derby d'Italia defeat of Juventus, Inter were relentless in pressuring Verona in the first half.  

Their superiority yielded the desired rewards as goals from Nicolo Barella and Edin Dzeko put them 2-0 up inside 30 minutes.  

Simone Inzaghi's defending champions were never at risk of surrendering that advantage and could go top next week if Milan failed to respond in kind to his impressive performance. 

Lorenzo Montipo was busy from the off, the Verona goalkeeper producing a strong save to deny Ivan Perisic, and his goal was soon breached by an excellent opener from Barella.  

Barella steered Perisic's left-wing cross in off the bar with a superb effort with the outside of his boot.  

Joaquin Correa was then thwarted by Montipo before Perisic flicked a corner into the path of Dzeko to tap in and make it 2-0.  

Samir Handanovic prevented the deficit from being halved after Giovanni Simeone broke through on goal following a neat one-two with Gianluca Caprari.  

Hakan Calhanoglu fired wide from long range and Danilo D'Ambrosio forced another fine save from Montipo before Dzeko blazed a header over, the final score arguably flattering Verona. 
 

What does it mean? Inter avoid stumble in pulsating title race  

Inter went second with a win that never looked in doubt, moving level with Napoli on 66 points and leapfrogging them due to their superior head-to-head record.  

With Napoli hosting Fiorentina and Milan visiting Torino on Sunday, avoiding a slip-up after the derby triumph over Juve was critical, and Inter did so in style.  

Inter make another fast start 

Barella and Dzeko's goals took Inter to 31 first-half goals in as many Serie A games this season, more than any other team in the division. 

Verona wait goes on 

The visitors offered a meek display in keeping with their away record against Inter. Verona have never won in 31 Serie A away games against Inter, the Nerazzurri tied with Juve as the opposition against whom the Gialloblu have played the most matches on their travels without winning. 

What's next?  

Inter travel to Spezia on Friday, while Verona face a trip to Atalanta three days later. 

Jose Mourinho was sent off after kicking away a ball in Roma's 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday.

The Giallorossi, who were depleted due to injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak, had fought back from 2-0 down after goals from youngsters Cristiano Volpato and Edoardo Bove.

But Mourinho was not satisfied, given his marching orders by referee Luca Pairetto in second-half stoppage time.

Mourinho and Pairetto had clashed numerous times during the game, with the final straw coming when the Portuguese kicked a ball into the Stadio Olimpico crowd.

The former Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Inter boss declined to complete his post-game media duties and instead posted on social media.

"I love these people and for them, I fight," Mourinho wrote on Instagram. "I don't talk is better to go home and have a nice dinner. Have a good Sunday."

Dusan Vlahovic is not giving up hope on winning the Serie A title after helping to fire Juventus into fourth on his Bianconeri debut on Sunday.

Vlahovic joined in the January transfer window in a big-money move from Fiorentina and marked his bow with the opener in a 2-0 win over Verona.

The victory left Juventus eight points behind leaders Inter, beaten by rivals Milan on Saturday, although the Nerazzurri have a game in hand.

The Serbian was pleased to have helped his side to three vital points and says Juve have to have belief they are still in the race for the Scudetto.

"It was very important to win this match because these games after the [international] breaks are the most difficult mentally," Vlahovic said to DAZN after the game. "We had a good approach right from the start and in the end, we managed to do what was most important, to win.

"I have to thank my team-mates and the coach who welcomed me very well and helped me a lot, I'm trying to understand as soon as possible how it works here, I just have to continue like this and work harder. The most important thing is to have won today.

"Juve always thinks about the highest goals, when they start a competition they always do it to win. I'm here to give my maximum contribution, match by match, and at the end of the season we will do the maths."

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri, however, suggested the top three are the only contenders.

"The Scudetto? It concerns the three in front, Inter, Milan and Napoli," Allegri said to DAZN. "We must take one step at a time. We now have the goal in our sights. The Coppa Italia and a place in the Champions League: 80 points are needed."

The Bianconeri's next Serie A fixture - after their Coppa Italia quarter-final against Sassuolo on Thursday - is a crunch clash with Atalanta on February 13, who are two points behind Juventus but with a game in hand.

Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria both scored on their Juventus debuts as the Bianconeri beat Verona 2-0 on Sunday.

The former joined from Fiorentina in a big-money January deal, while the latter arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach on the cheap with six months left on his contract.

Free-scoring Vlahovic was the first to get on the scoresheet, lobbing into the far corner in the first half, before Zakaria sealed the victory with a low effort

The victory lifts Juventus ahead of Atalanta and into fourth in Serie A, although the latter have a game in hand.

Vlahovic opened his Juventus account – and the scoring – with a delightful chip over Lorenzo Montipo after racing onto a Paulo Dybala throughball in the 13th minute.

The new arrival was a constant menace, taking three shots in the first half – more than any other player – but was unable to add to his tally of 18 Serie A goals before the break.

Zakaria joined the Serbian in netting on his first Bianconeri appearance, getting onto Alvaro Morata's pass in behind and rifling a low shot into the bottom-left corner.

The Bianconeri enjoyed less of the ball than their opponents despite being at home, but Verona rarely threatened the Juventus goal and never looked like mounting a comeback.

What does it mean? Bianconeri unbeaten in 10 league games

Juventus extended their Serie A unbeaten run to 10 games, winning seven and drawing three of those.

The Bianconeri endured a poor start to the season, but have since put together a strong run of form and are now fourth, although Atalanta have a game in hand and are just two points behind.

Vlahovic can't stop scoring

Vlahovic has now scored 18 league goals this term, only fewer than Robert Lewandowski (24) in Europe's top five leagues in 2021-22.

Double delight for debutants

Vlahovic and Zakaria are the second pair of players to have both scored a goal in their debut match for Juventus in Serie A in the three points for a win era (since 1994-95), after Arturo Vidal and Stephan Lichtsteiner against Parma in September 2011.

What's next?

Juventus host Sassuolo on Thursday in the Coppa Italia quarter-final, while Verona face Udinese at home next Sunday in Serie A.

Hellas Verona head coach Igor Tudor said his football would not be suitable for Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as he continues to work wonders in Serie A.

Since Tudor took charge of Verona in September, they have gained 16 points in nine games – in this period the Gialloblu are sixth for points earned in Serie A, behind only Napoli, Milan, Atalanta Inter and Juventus.

Verona held leaders Napoli to a 1-1 draw on Sunday, having already beaten Roma, Lazio and Juve under Tudor.

As Verona evolve under Tudor, the Croatian explained his methods and why are not suitable for all clubs.

"It would be difficult to use our training methods in a top team," former Croatia and Juve defender Tudor – who was as an assistant to Andrea Pirlo and worked with Ronaldo in Turin last season – told DAZN.

"Perhaps, we could find a compromise by attacking and doing more zonal marking. It’s a bit sick, in a good way. Surely, you can’t propose something like this to a player like Cristiano Ronaldo.

"However, football evolves and a coach must do the same, making wise use of both phases."

Since Tudor's arrival, Giovanni Simeone is the top scorer in the top-five European leagues with nine goals, two more than Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, Jonathan David of Lille and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah in this period.

Verona are 10th in the Serie A standings through 12 rounds, five points adrift of the top five heading into the international break.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri believes his side are a "mid-table team" following their 2-1 loss at Hellas Verona on Saturday, acknowledging they are currently no better than Igor Tudor's men.

An early double from the in-form Giovanni Simeone was enough for the hosts to seal the win, despite Weston McKennie's reply 10 minutes from time.

Simeone became the seventh player in the history of Serie A to have scored two or more goals against Juventus for three different sides (Genoa, Cagliari and Verona). The last player to do so was Enrico Chiesa, father of Juve star Federico.

The defeat was the fourth Juve have suffered in Serie A this season and comes after the late 2-1 reverse at home to Sassuolo just three days earlier.

Sitting in ninth place in the league following the latest setback, Allegri insisted his team can get out of their current funk but must be realistic as well.

"Words are meaningless right now. We're in a bad situation, we have to accept the reality that right now we are a mid-table team. We can get out of this situation with a little more determination and quality," Allegri said to DAZN after the game.

"We will drag ourselves out of this situation. There's no point feeling sorry for ourselves, that won't help, we just need to focus on what we need to do and then things will sort themselves out.

 

15 - Juventus have conceded at least 15 goals in their first 11 Serie A matches of the season for the first time since 1961/62, when they ended at 12th place of the table. Flaw. #SerieA #VeronaJuventus

— OptaPaolo  (@OptaPaolo) October 30, 2021

"It's a good squad, but things don't always go your way in football. We have to react with pride and determination. We had to play like a team that had one point, and we did, now we have to play like a team that has 15 points.

"We realised Verona were going to make it physical and a battle for every ball, so if you don’t meet them at that level, you will lose.

"Wearing the Juventus jersey does not give us a guarantee we will beat the teams in mid-table. We have to earn every point and do it with the right attitude."

When talking about playing styles, Allegri added: "Football is football, it is not fencing. You need to fight it out on the pitch at the same level. We lost a lot of tackles and aerial duels against Sassuolo too, and they are frankly not a very physical side.

"Verona knew that was how they had to play in order to beat Juventus. Our mistake was assuming we were better than Verona, and right now we are not. We must be realistic.

"There is no big team that has ever won without respecting their opponents. We are lacking that desire to fight it out, because games are a battle.

"There's nothing we can say now, we just need to stay silent and work hard to prove ourselves on the pitch."

Giovanni Simeone scored twice as Hellas Verona inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Juventus in Saturday's Serie A clash.

The in-form striker bagged a quickfire first-half brace – taking his league tally for the season to eight – to put Verona in command at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Substitute Weston McKennie pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining but could not prevent a second loss in the space of four days for the visitors, who were also beaten 2-1 by Sassuolo in midweek.

Following a fourth straight home win, Verona move above Massimiliano Allegri's men on goal difference into eighth place.

Igor Tudor has overseen an upturn in Verona's fortunes since replacing Eusebio Di Francesco in September.

Indeed, no side has since scored more Serie A goals than the Gialloblu, who took the lead after just 11 minutes.

Simeone, who netted four times against Lazio last time out, slotted home after Wojciech Szczesny parried Antonin Barak’s initial effort.

It was the 14th goal Juve had conceded in their opening 11 matches, the first time they have done so during a Serie A season since 1984-85.

The forward grabbed his second in emphatic fashion just three minutes later, latching onto Darko Lazovic's pass before arrowing a wonderful 25-yard strike into the top corner.

The visitors looked to respond before the break, Alex Sandro drilling into the side-netting while Paulo Dybala clipped the top of the crossbar.

Juventus improved in the second half and pulled a goal back in the 80th minute, McKennie controlling Danilo's fizzed pass before firing home off the underside of the crossbar.

It then took magnificent reflexes from Lorenzo Montipo to deny Dybala later on as Verona held out for another impressive win.

Olivier Giroud was relieved to get back among the goals as Milan fought back to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 at San Siro on Saturday.

The Rossoneri looked to be heading for a first defeat in 30 home Serie A meetings with Verona when Gianluca Caprari and Antonin Barak put them 2-0 up before half-time.

Giroud headed in just before the hour mark to spark Milan's revival, with Franck Kessie levelling the scores from the penalty spot before a late decisive own goal from Koray Gunter.

The result put Stefano Pioli's men top of the table ahead of Napoli's clash with Torino on Sunday.

In scoring his third goal in his first two Serie A home games, Giroud matched a feat only previous reached by Oliver Bierhoff, Alexandre Pato, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Bacca since 1994-95.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea striker, who had missed four of Milan's previous five games, admitted it had been a long time coming to be back on the scoresheet.

"I've waited a long time for this moment. I missed the competition," Giroud, who last scored in the win over Cagliari in August, told DAZN.

"In the first half, we didn't do well but the reaction was important. I don't feel 100 per cent yet but I am growing and I feel more free.

"This victory is a joy. I can't wait to go and celebrate with my team-mates. In the first half, there was a lack of nastiness and quality. We could only do better in the second half, and that's what we did."

Pioli was left delighted with the endeavour shown by his side in the second half as they now prepare for a key Champions League group game with Porto on Tuesday.

"My team believe in what they do and put their soul into everything," he told DAZN.

"We tried to play from the back but they were very aggressive in the first half. They took away our space and often left us with just the long ball. We were not very dynamic and we suffered.

"The best thing about this group is to see everyone involved. The credit doesn't go to me, but it's the air we breathe. The boys put individuality aside to put themselves at the service of the team.

"We should enjoy this game but prepare for Porto. We've recovered some players and we've lost some. The more rotations there are, the better we can do." 

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