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Spalletti: It was a nothing penalty

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Spalletti: It was a nothing penalty

Napoli boss unhappy with refereeing decision

Spaletti: “This is a great final score against these lads”

Napoli earned a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie with Barcelona on Thursday, yet coach Luciano Spalletti was left unhappy with the officiating.

Juan Jesus was adjudged to have handled Adama Traore’s cross, leading VAR to instruct the referee to award a penalty, which Ferran Torres converted to bring the score level.

They [Barcelona] deserved a draw, but that penalty was non-existent,” he said after the game.

“You can’t run with your hands behind your back. The ball didn’t change trajectory. 1-1 is fair, [but] that penalty isn’t.”

Spalletti acknowledged that his side underperformed in the second period.

“The first half was even, we struggled after the restart,” he said. “If we did well for 45 minutes, we can do it for 90.

“There were moments when we did very well, but we were not been able to keep up our discipline.

“There were moments when we had to suffer, but in the right way.”

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