Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti says he was ‘angry’ with his side for throwing away a 1-0 lead in their 3-1 loss to Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
Belgium forward Dries Mertens put the away side in front in the first half after tapping in Jose Callejon’s cross, but a brace from Mario Mandzukic and a third goal from Leonardo Bonucci saw league leaders Juventus retain their 100% league record for another week.
A second half sending off for left-back Mario Rui did not help Napoli’s chances, with Ancelotti also critical of the referee.
But the 59-year-old was particularly unhappy with his side for allowing the Bianconeri to work their way back into the game after Mertens’ first half strike.
“I was angry at my team because we started strong and took the lead, but then started getting sluggish and allowed Juventus to regain their confidence,” Ancelotti said.
“I think the referee made a superficial decision. Mario Rui got the second yellow card after a good long wait to consider it. The two yellows came from the superficiality of the referee.
“We need to improve in terms of character, consistency and experience, but we did well even when down to 10 men.
“A defeat can happen, just as Juventus can lose in Naples. We have to keep improving under many aspects, but I am convinced we’ll be competitive right to the end.”
Napoli will be looking to secure their first win in this season’s Champions League when they host Liverpool on Wednesday. Their first Group C tie saw them held to a goalless draw away to Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade.
Their defeat to Juventus was their second league loss of the season and leaves them six points adrift of Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who remain top of the Serie A table.