Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti concedes that Atalanta forced them to change their gameplay to a defensive approach in a keenly contested 2-1 win.
Fabian Ruiz put them in front within 76 seconds, cancelled out after the restart by Duvan Zapata, but Arkadiusz Milik came off the bench to score the winner late on.
“We knew Atalanta play very dynamic and aggressive football, so it was tough. We played a slightly different game than we had expected, as we took the lead so early and allowed Atalanta to come forward. They pushed hard and deserved the equaliser, but then a different match opened up.
“Probably the energy they spent to get back into it left them fatigued and we had more left in the tank to win,” the Coach told Football Italia.
“I love attacking football, but it’s not as if I dislike defending! We attack when we need to and defend when we need to. It wasn’t something we were accustomed to, defending so much here, but Atalanta pushed us into that attitude with their pressure.
“Everyone wants champagne football, but there are the opponents to deal with too and this performance was a show of maturity. I also want to point out the atmosphere was wonderful, it was a festival of sport for everyone and the Atalanta fans sent a wonderful signal as to what games should be like, both on and off the field.”