Ancelotti happy with qualification despite late scare

PARMA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24: Arkadiusz Milik of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with his coach Carlo Ancelotti during the Serie A match between Parma Calcio and SSC Napoli at Stadio Ennio Tardini on February 24, 2019 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Carlo Ancelotti has expressed relief after his Napoli team booked a place in Europa League quarter-finals despite a late scare in their 3-1 defeat to RB Salzburg.

The Naples side started the tie on a bright note thanks to Arkadiusz Milik’s early goal in Austria.

With key defender Koulibaly missing from the tie, Ancelotti’s men had to withstand a late onslaught that saw them ship in three goals.

However, Carletto believes they achieved the main aim by qualifying despite doing it the hard way with a 3-4 aggregate result.

“The objective was not to get pinned back from the start, so in that sense, we did well,” the Coach told Sky Sports Italia.

“Let’s look forward to the quarter-final, which will no doubt be difficult. We had the right approach initially, but then had difficulty dealing with the comeback.

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“I guess the 3-0 first leg lead made us feel comfortable enough going into the final minutes.

“Sebastiano Luperto and Vlad Chiriches did very well and showed confidence, so good signs came from them. I am very happy, as we were in a bit of an emergency situation at the back.

“We prepared well and effectively Milik’s away goal sealed our qualification.”

Speaking about their chances of securing a silverware via the Europa League after falling 18 points behind Juve in Serie A, Carletto revealed they will fight till the end.

“The objective is to keep going until the end of the season, because in Serie A we certainly are not in a comfortable position.

“We had a setback against Sassuolo and need to be vigilant, as if we can’t have first place, we should at least hold on to second.”

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