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Spalletti: Napoli ‘playing for the happiness of a city’

Napoli head coach Luciano Spalletti has said his team understands they are “playing for the happiness of a city” after an impressive 3-1 victory away to Atalanta put them level on points with Serie A leaders Milan.

A penalty from Lorenzo Insigne and a Matteo Politano free-kick saw the Naples side 2-0 up at half-time, only for Marten de Roon to halve the deficit just before the hour marks Gewiss Stadium.

However, a well-taken goal on the counter-attack from Elif Elmas late on after neat work from Hirving Lozano was enough to secure the three points and give Napoli their third league win in a row.

The victory means Spalletti’s men are on 66 points, the same as leaders Milan though having played a game more, with the Rossoneri hosting Bologna on Monday.

Spalletti told DAZN after the win:

“We have come out of difficult situations this season, but at this point here, there is no turning back.

“We suffered again today, at the beginning of both halves, [but] the team began to turn and even when Atalanta responded, the team did not disunite.

“On the contrary, we went in search of the third goal, which shows how we have grown.”

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Napoli, who were missing star striker Victor Osimhen, has scored eight penalties in a single Serie A campaign for the first time since they returned to the top-flight (from 2007/08).

Their away record has kept them in the race for the Scudetto, having now won 11 and lost just one of their 16 games on the road (D4).

However, Spalletti also acknowledged their home form, which has been less impressive, winning nine and losing four of their 15 games at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona (D2).

Spalletti added:

“There is still a long way to go because we have lost too many points at home, and we cannot let our guard down.

“What these guys have understood is that they are playing for the happiness of a city.”

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