Oct 18, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stadio Olimpico
Roma
2-0
Napoli
Pjanic (45', 71' pen.)
Pjanic (74'), Benatia (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Pandev (25'), Cannavaro (45'), Inler (74')
Cannavaro (70')

Rafael Benitez: 'We controlled the game'

Benitez: 'We controlled the game'
© Getty Images
Rafael Benitez says that Napoli were on top against Roma before the referee awarded the home side a penalty early in the second half.

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has said that the referee's decision to award Roma a penalty early in the second half changed the game at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Giallorossi led 1-0 through Miralem Pjanic's first-half free kick when Paolo Cannavaro was penalised for bringing down Marco Boriello inside the area.

Benitez believes that his team were on top in the second period but found it difficult to break down the defensive home side.

"The penalty changed everything," Benitez told Sky Sport Italia. "Everyone told me it was not a penalty. You can see 50 of those tussles in every game. I am not here to say whether it was a penalty or not, as that will be down to the referees to judge.

"Up until the penalty we were pinning Roma back, but that changed everything and we went down to 10 men. If Roma defend with 11 men behind the ball, it's not easy to find space.

"I look at the performance and in terms of character Napoli did very well this evening. I said beforehand this game would not decide the title, but clearly with the way we played tonight I'd say it was a positive evening. We played well and this bodes well for the future."

Napoli now trail the leaders by five points in Serie A.

Miralem Pjanic with his team-mates of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and SSC Napoli at Stadio Olimpico on October 18, 2013
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