Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has picked out areas striker Victor Osimhen needs to improve on after his performance against Barcelona in the 1-1 Europa League draw at Camp Nou on Thursday.
It was the Partenopei who had a good start, taking the lead in the 29th minute through a Piotr Zielinski strike at the second time of asking before Ferran Torres levelled the score for the Catalans in the 59th minute from the penalty spot.
The 23-year-old Nigeria international was handed a start in the game but he could not find the back of the net and was withdrawn in the 80th minute for Dries Mertens.
“Osimhen gives us these incredible changes of pace,” Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia as quoted by Football Italia. “He still needs to learn about the right movements, as in the second half he was caught offside four or five times when he really should’ve been following the line.
“The midfielders also need to draw out an opposition defender to then put the pass through. I do see this performance as an improvement if we can only carry on certain moves and approaches for the whole game.
“It was the choice of defending deeper that cost us because that was a choice. When we attacked Barcelona, we caused them a lot of problems.”
Spalletti was also not pleased with VAR’s decision to award Barcelona a penalty.
“With all due respect, I will say Barcelona deserved a draw, but that penalty was non-existent,” the 62-year-old Italian coach continued. “It doesn’t change direction. It didn’t touch his fingertips, it touched his little finger.
“The arm also seemed to be in a fairly natural position. “Either defenders have to keep their hands behind their backs at all times, which limits movement when running, or I don’t know what they are supposed to do.
As I said, Barcelona deserved an equaliser, but that was not a penalty.”
Since returning from injury, Osimhen has managed to score one goal, which came in the 2-0 win against Venezia in Serie A. The Super Eagle has, however, scored six goals in the top-flight coming from 15 appearances.