Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

Napoli 'lacking soul' as Inter stay second ahead of Atalanta in Serie A final push

Goals from D'Ambrosio and Martinez eased Inter to victory at San Siro, keeping Antonio Conte's side in second place with one match left

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso said his side are lacking "a bit of soul" following defeat to Inter Milan, and need to remedy it quick if they are to overcome Barcelona in the Champions League.

Goals from Danilo D'Ambrosio and Lautaro Martinez eased Inter to victory at San Siro, keeping Antonio Conte's side in second place with one match left.

Defeat left Napoli down in seventh place, although they are guaranteed at least Europa League football next season having won the Coppa Italia.

Gattuso admitted Napoli would need to find goal-scoring solutions before they face Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 on August 8.

"We have to work, we're lacking a bit of soul," said Gattuso, whose side travel to Camp Nou for the return leg having been held 1-1 by Barca in their first meeting in February before the coronavirus pandemic forced a global shutdown of most sport.

"After the Italian Cup we've performed well but don't have the knife between our teeth. Against Barcelona it will be a different story."

Juventus have already sealed their ninth straight league title, but three teams are fighting for second spot - Inter Milan, Atalanta and Lazio - going into the last round of matches in Italy.

Inter have a one-point lead on Atalanta with the two teams set to go head to head in their final match this season on Saturday.

Lazio, in fourth, will play Brescia on Wednesday, with Simone Inzaghi's side also still in with a chance of finishing second, with their final game against Napoli at the weekend.

Atalanta reacted well after a difficult start in Parma, with Ruslan Malinovskyi and Papu Gomez's second-half goals sealing a 2-1 victory.

"That was probably our worst first half of the season," said coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

"After 12 matches at this rhythm, there could be drop in pace but if we come back as good in the second half, it's because we're in form."

The Bergamo club are already assured of Champions League football next season and are targeting a club-best second-place finish in the league.

They face Paris Saint-Germain in a one-off quarter-final in the Champions League next month.

Updated: July 29, 2020 10:56 AM

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