The striker lamented what he believes is a harsh elimination, while Porto boss Luis Castro thinks that his team fully earned their place in the last eight
Gonzalo Higuain believes that Napoli do not deserve to have been dumped out of the Europa League after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Porto.
Goran Pandev’s opener levelled the affair over two legs early in the Stadio San Paolo clash, before Nabil Ghilas and Ricardo Quaresma turned the tie back in the visitors’ favour and left the Partenopei facing certain exit.
Duvan Zapata’s stoppage-time goal prevented defeat on the night for Rafa Benitez’s men but it was too little too late for the hosts, though Higuain thinks that elimination is harsh on Napoli.
“We deserved to go through because we played a good game, creating a lot even though their goalkeeper made many super saves,” the Argentine striker told Mediaset Premium after the match.
“We still have a long road ahead of us and we have to look to Serie A and the Coppa Italia final. We got so many points in the Champions League group stage but went out, and we played well today but exited too.”
Meanwhile, Porto coach Luis Castro thinks his team were overall the better side in the 2-2 draw and the previous leg’s 1-0 victory, and praised his players for performing well as underdogs.
“We knew it would be a very tight round, both for Napoli and us,” he told reporters. “There were times when they were all over us, there were others where we’ve been all over them.
“But at the end of the 120 minutes we were the deserved winners of the round of 16. We attacked this game very positively and over the second leg I think we were the team that was on top for more of the game and were closer to winning.
“The players were fantastic, they carried the values of Porto very well and were huge advocates for the club.”