Carlo Ancelotti was satisfied as Napoli overcame tricky conditions on Sunday to defeat Brescia 2-1 at the San Paolo Stadium.
Ancelotti oversaw a 2-1 win against Brescia on Sunday afternoon following goals from Dries Mertens and Kostas Manolas. It put Napoli up to fourth in the Serie A table and six points behind leaders Inter.
While they dominated early on, the Partenopei’s control of the game soon diminished as they struggled in the heat.
It opened the door for Mario Balotelli to head in his first Brescia goal in the 67th-minute to set-up a tense ending. Ultimately, though, Napoli held on at the San Paolo Stadium despite a late assault by the visitors.
But things could’ve turned out quite differently had VAR not ruled out Sandro Tonali’s brilliant long-range goal before the break for Brescia.
“Suffering is natural in these games,” Ancelotti told DAZN.
“Because if you don’t kill it off with 3-0 and then concede a goal, it all opens up again.
“We played an excellent first half, the second was less impressive, but the temperature was very warm and it made the teams get more stretched out.
“We put five in midfield during the last 10 minutes to block off the wings.”
Full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo earned special praise from Ancelotti after coming on for the injured Nikola Maksimovic. He didn’t put a foot wrong at the centre of the Napoli defence to help keep Brescia at bay.
“I must say Di Lorenzo is a great surprise for me,” added Ancelotti.
“He is extremely reliable wherever you put him and he is a player you don’t need to explain too much to, he just gets it.
“[Fernando] Llorente is a new type of player for us, because while [Arkadiusz] Milik is also tall and strong, he has different characteristics.
“I opted for Llorente today to give us a presence in the box and he did very well in the first half.”