Napoli attacker Dries Mertens loved the best way the Alkmaarders performed on Thursday regardless of the 1-1 draw towards AZ. Though his personal group shouldn’t be even certain of the knock-out part within the Europa League, the Belgian hopes that AZ will make it anyway.
‘AZ once more seems like a group that made it troublesome for Ajax’
“It was a troublesome sport. AZ has a very good group with all boys who’ve an important future,” Mertens informed FOX Sports activities. “We could not have performed our greatest sport, however AZ simply did effectively.”
The 33-year-old Mertens already put Napoli forward within the sixth minute by engaged on the sting of offside from shut by, however AZ fought again after the break by a objective from Bruno Martins Indi. 5 minutes later, Teun Koopmeiners failed to make use of a penalty kick and due to this fact it remained at 1-1.
“For me it’s at all times good to attain, however we should always have made the 0-2 after that. Then it will have been a very totally different sport. AZ continued to play soccer effectively after that,” Mertens famous.
Dries Mertens gave Napoli a fast lead, however that was not sufficient for the victory. (Photograph: Professional Photographs)
Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso additionally praised AZ. In accordance with the previous midfielder, coach Arne Slot’s group definitely deserved to win on the idea of the second half.
“On a foul day, we may even have misplaced to this well-organized AZ,” mentioned Gattuso. “AZ has numerous abilities that entice the eye of massive golf equipment. They began the season with many attracts in their very own nation, however they now resemble the group that additionally made it troublesome for Ajax final season.”
Because of the draw between AZ and Napoli, the stress in group F may be lower. The Alkmaarders have a victory (and probably a degree) at HNK Rijeka subsequent Thursday to achieve the knock-out part. Napoli additionally has a spot within the final 32 in their very own arms, however could not lose to Actual Sociedad at dwelling.
“I believe the stress on this group is principally as a result of essential factors that AZ took towards us within the away sport,” mentioned Mertens. “If you happen to see what course they’ve taken, AZ deserves to proceed.”
View this system, the outcomes and the place within the Europa League