Maurizio Sarri was all smiles after Lazio’s first win of the 2023-24 season, a testing 2-1 victory away to Rudi Garcia’s Napoli.
The Biancocelesti suffered back-to-back losses in their first two outings of the new term, falling to Lecce and Genoa, but the team finally managed to turn things around in the Campania capital.
A slick backheel from Luis Alberto and well-placed strike for Daichi Kamada were enough to guide Lazio to all three points, leaving Napoli frustrated after the full-time whistle.
Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first reacted to Lazio’s win over Napoli.
Today we played a high-level game from all points of view. We knew how to suffer, how to take control of the game.
The two goals cancelled out could have created difficulties and instead we remained in control until the end. Tonight’s mentality is a good one, now we have to keep it until the end.
He was asked if this Biancocelesti squad were stronger than last year’s, considering the new signings.
Even last year we played such a game. Time will tell. Kamada gives the feeling of having great technical qualities. We are developing him without stressing him, now unfortunately he goes to the national team.
Guendouzi came in under different conditions and seems to me to be a good fit. He has the ability to learn quickly, he can give us an important hand.
The coach touched on the team’s mentality.
The mentality is fierce, the team has gone beyond the events that could have put them in psychological distress. Why they can’t find it for fierce consistency is a good question.
Sarri was asked to give his thoughts about Lazio’s Champions League draw.
It’s all talk in the wind, because with teams you have to play them and you have to get results.
He commented on the work of Luis Alberto.
He is confirming himself and for him it can be a decisive season, in the sense that he can become a player that he could become for many years, of course a great help to us.
The Lazio coach spoke about the differences between Luciano Spalletti and Rudi Garcia’s Napoli.
The difference is too early to assess. What scared me was what happened from the 33rd minute to the 45th minute, in the unbalanced phase Napoli hurt.
I said to lower the pace and tear it up because that phase is too much in Napoli’s favour. Last year the game seemed to me more blocked.
He touched on the strengths of this Napoli.
Right now, compared to last year they’re stretching a little bit more. However, we talk about summer football and maintaining continuity is difficult. To make a comparison between two teams you have to wait two or three months.
When I was young, old people told me that August football is lying. Even though we are on 2nd September, we are in August football.
Finally, Sarri discussed the efforts to shut down Victor Osimhen.
We tried to make the central defenders play a lot wide, sending Napoli onto the centre. I preferred to risk more in the centre than on the outside.