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Benitez confident Higuain will return to top form

23 October 2013 00:32

Rafael Benitez insists Gonzalo Higuain will get back to his best after making his first start for a month in Napoli's 2-1 win at Marseille.

Higuain has been struggling with a hamstring injury recently, but made an influential impact at the Stade Velodrome on Tuesday as Napoli secured their second victory of this season's UEFA Champions League.

The Argentina international played in Jose Callejon for Napoli's opener just prior to half-time before being replaced by Duvan Zapata, who duly added to their advantage with a curling strike.

Andre Ayew pulled one back for the hosts late on, but the visitors hung on to move level on points with Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in Group F.

And Benitez is confident that Higuain will soon return to full fitness after making his first start since Napoli's 2-1 Serie A win over Milan in September.

"(Monday) he trained very well and we decided to let him play," he told Mediaset Premium.

"A hamstring problem is not easy to overcome, Gonzalo still lacks the pace but will soon return to his level."

The former Liverpool manager also reserved praise for Zapata, and is adamant that the Colombian attacker will not be leaving the club in the January transfer window.

"Duvan is young and comes from another league, he must understand the language and get to know his team-mates," he added.

"He will stay with us (in January). It will help us."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
22 October 2013
Game week
3
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
1 - 2
Venue
Stade Vélodrome (Marseille)
Attendance
39790

Goals

0 - 1
42' José Callejón
 (assist by G. Higuaín)
0 - 2
67' D. Zapata
 (assist by D. Mertens)
A. Ayew 86'
(assist by J. Ayew) 
1 - 2

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
2
14
11 89'
13
16
23
25
# Player Bookings
91 67'
16
24
1
19
20
28

Friday 29 August

16:19
16:17
16:00
15:58
15:48
15:40
15:28
15:16
15:16
15:05
14:05
13:35
13:29
13:11
12:59
12:50
12:50
12:29
12:18
11:37
11:35
11:10
10:55
10:44
10:43
10:29
10:11
10:06
09:47
09:47
09:40
09:23
07:26
06:40
06:35
05:41
05:07
04:39
04:36
04:30
03:28
02:57
02:29
01:42
01:00

Thursday 28 August

23:51
23:35
23:26
23:00
22:54
22:53
22:41
22:41
22:32
22:17
22:01
22:01
21:53
21:35
20:55
20:43
20:33
19:51
19:41
19:33
19:19
19:15
19:10
18:38
17:44
17:34
17:21
17:20
17:00
16:59
16:52
16:38
16:32
16:31
16:28
16:25
16:04
16:00
15:50
15:29
15:25
15:17
14:53
14:17
14:07
13:58
13:58
13:26
13:11
13:04
12:37
12:26
12:10
11:44
11:13
10:56
10:41
10:25
10:11
07:51
07:21
06:58
06:34
05:00
04:33
04:03
03:58
02:46
01:34
00:13
00:12

Wednesday 27 August

23:32
23:28
23:09
23:07
23:02
22:57
22:57
22:43
22:42
22:38
22:00
20:17
20:04
19:42
19:27
19:01
18:40
18:38
18:23
18:20
17:57
17:14
16:46
16:44
16:39
16:14
15:44
14:59
14:32
14:11
13:39
13:06
12:56
12:42
11:32
11:24
10:40
09:49
09:18
08:33
06:57
06:46
04:50
02:49
02:44
01:39
01:35
00:42
00:07
00:05
00:01

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0

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