Dec 11, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stadio San Paolo
Napoli
2-0
Arsenal
Higuain (73'), Callejon (90')
Mertens (36'), Dzemaili (41'), Fernandez (84')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Arteta (63'), Giroud (66'), Ramsey (84')
Arteta (76')

Rafael Benitez "proud" of Napoli players

Benitez
© Getty Images
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez is pleased with the effort his side put in, despite narrowly missing out on a place in the Champions League last 16.

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has revealed that he is "proud" of his players, despite their narrow failure to qualify for the second round of the Champions League.

A 3-0 win against Arsenal would have guaranteed qualification, but even their eventual 2-0 victory would have been enough had Borussia Dortmund failed to beat Napoli.

However, it was not to be for Benitez and his players, with the coach saying that there is plenty of time for success with the current group of men.

"This game will increase our confidence, this is the key," UEFA.com quotes Benitez as saying. "Here at Napoli we are trying to develop something and the boys showed we are on the right track. We must be proud of what we have done so far.

"We should have scored our first goal earlier in order to have more time to push. Five minutes before the final whistle it was hard to say "keep pushing" because Marseille and Dortmund were drawing 1-1 and Arsenal are dangerous on the counter and could have scored.

"In any case, the team made a tremendous effort, we deserved to win and qualification would have been well-deserved."

Napoli are currently third in Serie A, eight points behind leaders Juventus.

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger and Napoli's Spanish coach Rafael Benitez look on during the UEFA Champions League group F football match between their sides on December 11, 2013
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