Benitez silent on referee after controversial Higuain goal

The striker appeared to trip Torino defender Kamil Glik prior to scoring a last-minute winner on Monday but his coach was eager to focus on his side’s positive performance

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez refused to be drawn into a debate on Gonzalo Higuain’s controversial winner against Torino on Monday.

The Argentina international appeared to clip the heels of Kamil Glik before striding clear to score a last-gasp goal to earn his side a 1-0 win, after Torino had spurned a host of opportunities to break the deadlock themselves.

Benitez, however, was interested only in the positive aspects of his side’s showing after their defeat to Porto last week.

“I haven’t spoken about referees throughout the season, so I am not going to start now,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I think we created scoring opportunities, just like Torino did, and proved that this team wants to win right to the end.

“Torino sealed up very well and then went on the counterattack. We played against Porto on Thursday, we’ve been playing two games per week all season, so it’s not easy to stay sharp.

The form of Marek Hamsik continues to be in the spotlight at the San Paolo, with the attacking midfielder putting in another lethargic display on Monday, but Benitez insists he will recover his best form should he be given enough freedom on the pitch.

“He did much better today as he helped out the team in attack and defence,” insisted the Spaniard. “I never thought of bringing him into a deeper role, as he is so good at the final ball and with those runs forward. I said that I had faith in him and he replied with a good performance.

“I think he needs to have freedom to do what he wants to on the field.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *