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We fight until the end – Benitez

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez was proud after they produced a hard-fought 1-0 win at Torino in Serie A on Monday.

Benitez’s side were second best for the majority of the match, with Cesare Bovo and Riccardo Meggiorini hitting the post for the hosts.

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina also had to make a series of saves, before Gonzalo Higuain scored a controversial 90th-minute winner.

The forward came together with Torino’s Kamil Glik in the build-up to his late strike but remained composed to score a vital goal for his side.

“I haven’t spoken about referees throughout the season, so I am not going to start now,” Benitez 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 clammed up very well to then go on the counter-attack. We played against Porto on Thursday, we’ve been playing two games per week all season, so it’s not easy to stay sharp.”

Of Napoli’s battle with Roma for second – which sees them three points behind the capital club – Benitez believes all his side can do is win.

“We know that second place depends on them, but we must do our best and try to win every time,” he added.

A happy Higuain added: “On the contact with Glik I was running very quickly and so was he. I can only celebrate the goal.

“It was a very difficult match, but they are extremely important point and I am happy because we got closer to Roma.”

Torino coach Giampiero Ventura said he was “embarrassed” with the officiating in the match, unhappy that Higuain’s late goal was allowed to stand.

“I don’t want to get into this. I’m embarrassed, as I didn’t want to talk about referees anymore, but I don’t know what else to say after an objectively difficult season,” he said.

“The verdicts on the field have to be accepted…but it’s hard for me to explain a defeat like this to my players…it’s really embarrassing.

“We hit the woodwork twice, threw away seven scoring opportunities and it is a shocking injustice to have lost this game.”

Mon 17 March, 2014
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