Carlo Ancelotti believes Barcelona’s “two offside goals” changed the tide of the match as Napoli ended pre-season with a 4-0 thrashing.
After losing 2-1 on Thursday, Ancelotti and Napoli arrived in Michigan hoping to get their own back. While they managed to keep a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona at bay in the first-half, however, they couldn’t score.
The Blaugrana later sprung to life in the second half, with four goals in the space of 15 minutes against Napoli.
Luis Suarez struck first in front of the 60,043 spectators by slotting home Antoine Griezmann’s rebounded effort. However, the Napoli players furiously protested to the referee that the France star was offside.
A neat little flick from Jordi Alba, who seemed offside, then enabled Griezmann to score his first Barcelona goal. And, before Napoli could recover, Suarez found the back of the net again to put the Catalan giants 3-0 up.
Ousmane Dembele then wrapped things by firing the ball into the far post to seal a comprehensive victory over Ancelotti’s men.
The Napoli manager, though, was far from impressed and rued the impact the offside goals had on his tired team.
“We played well in the first half but then we were affected by those two offside goals at the start of the second half,” said Ancelotti, according to Yahoo.
“We were up against a magnificent team and afterwards they took control, but those two goals shouldn’t have been given and they changed the match.
“I think we were also a little tired due to the heavy training loads after a month of intense work. I don’t see any problems other than that.”
Napoli will now turn their focus onto their Serie A opener at Fiorentina on August 24 after pre-season ended.
Overall, the Partenopei recorded three wins and defeats along with one draw in their seven friendlies this summer.
“I’m happy with the work we’ve done both on our training camp and in these international friendlies we’ve played. We have a top-quality squad and I’m sure we can have an excellent season,” added Ancelotti.
“I’ve seen a lot of things I like from the lads and the overall feeling is positive. We’ll be ready when the season begins on 24 August.”