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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Nov, 7, 2013

Benitez coy on qualification chances

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez insists his team must not take their strong position in Group F of the Champions League for granted, with qualification still far from assured for the Italians.

Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after he scores his second, and the winner, for Napoli against Marseille.
Higuain's double handed Napoli the win.

The Partenopei sit equal with Arsenal on nine points in their group, just three points ahead of their next opponents Borussia Dortmund.

Wednesday's 3-2 win over Marseille gives Benitez's side a strong chance of progressing to the knockout stages, with a point in Dortmund later this month likely to be enough to see them through.

But the Spaniard has urged his players to remain focused, aware that any slip up could push them out of the top two.

"Clearly for us winning this game and reaching nine points was very positive and a Coach has to be satisfied," he told Sky Sport Italia. "Could we have done better? Yes. I liked the way we reacted to going behind very much and with the third goal we could’ve scored a fourth.

"I think winning three of the opening four Champions League games was very good for a club like ours. Clearly if we get a result in Dortmund, then we’ve qualified. Arsenal have shaken things up a bit in the group, but we need to keep winning, that remains the same.

"A draw in Dortmund would qualify us from a very difficult group. It’s so strange that some teams are practically qualified with nine points and we could go out with 12. We won this game amid difficulties, fought back and showed character, which is all positive for me."

Gonzalo Higuain bagged a brace including the match winner, to help see off Marseille and the Argentine believes anything less than victory would have put Napoli in a difficult position.

"It was a very difficult game and we were aware it was going to be," he told Sky Sport Italia. "This victory was fundamental for Napoli to stay top of the group.

"We are satisfied and knew this was going to be a very complex group, but we've got to give our all. I am in good shape, feeling better all the time and hope to help the team achieve important results."

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