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Napoli coach Garcia blasts Osimhen, teammates after Genoa draw


NAPOLI manager Rudi Garcia was left unimpressed by the efforts of Victor Osimhen and his teammates following the 2-2 draw against Genoa in Serie A last night.

The champions needed two late goals to rescue a point after the hosts, promoted back to the Italian top flight this season, took a shock 2-0 lead.

Nigeria striker Osimhen, Napoli’s hero last season with a league-high 26 goals as they won their first Scudetto in 33 years, had a quiet night and did not score as Giacomo Raspadori and Matteo Politano netted the face-saving goals to cancel out strikes from Mattia Bani and Mateo Retegui.

Garcia, who replaced Luciano Spalletti in July, accused Osimhen and his teammates of a ‘lack of determination’ in the match, admitting he ‘expected’ a better reaction to last week’s home defeat to Lazio.

It is the third time in four Serie A games under Garcia that Napoli conceded the opening goal.

“We know that we did not play well, especially in the first half, as we didn’t create much. We also conceded two goals from corner situations and that too reflects a lack of determination,” Garcia told Sky Sport Italia.

“There was a foul on Frank Zambo and also handball on the Matias Olivera cross, but the draw was not down to those incidents. We were simply not determined enough.

“For almost an hour, we did not play well, but at least we had a reaction and the light came from the bench, but it remains two lost points rather than one gained.

“We saw today PSG lost, Bayern Munich struggled too, so it is tough after a break for international duty and before a Champions League game.”

Garcia explained some of the tactical tweaks he made as he sought to get Napoli back on track.

“I always said we should have more options available to us, so using Raspadori behind Osimhen is one of them,” the Frenchman noted.

“Raspadori participated in all four games this season, he started two of them and was unlucky not to score more goals, as one was disallowed by a matter of millimetres.

“Raspadori can play as a centre-forward, as a trequartista the way he did tonight, out wide in a trident or in any midfield role too. He is versatile and that is always valuable for a coach.”

Napoli have lost to Lazio and drawn at Genoa since winning their first two games of the season, and they need to return to winning ways on Wednesday when they travel to Sporting Braga in the UEFA Champions League.

Garcia said: “The Champions League cannot be an objective, but it can be an ambition. In Serie A, we were coming off a home defeat and I expected my team to be more of a protagonist tonight.

“I hope we learn from this that we must play at 100 per cent from the first minute to the last, not just show character when reacting to a situation.

“I hope we do not need three goals to win every game, so we must also become more solid in defence.”

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