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Benitez: Porto tie ´like a final´

18 March 2014 10:00

Napoli head coach Rafael Benitez has described Thursday's UEFA Europa League last-16 meeting with Porto as "like a final".

After losing the first leg 1-0 at Estadio Do Dragao, the Serie A outfit will look to overturn the deficit at Stadio San Paolo in the return clash.

Benitez is aiming to win Europe's second-tier competition for the second successive year after guiding Chelsea to the 2013 Europa League with a 2-1 triumph over Benfica.

Napoli head into the contest on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 success at Torino on Monday, which came courtesy of a last-gasp winner from Gonzalo Higuain.

And Benitez says his side are in a buoyant mood ahead of the encounter.

"We reach this game (against Porto) with confidence, because we won a difficult test (against Torino)," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We need to get everyone fit again and hope we are fresh for a match that will be like a final."

The Spaniard also praised the performance of midfielder Marek Hamsik, who has enjoyed a difficult period in Italy's top flight this term but put in an assured performance against Torino.

He added: "He did much better, as he helped out the team in attack and defence. I never thought of bringing him into a deeper role, as he is so good at the final ball and those runs forward.

"I said that I had faith in him and he replied with a good performance. I think he needs to have freedom to do what he wants on the field."

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Info

2 - 2

Porto

L W W L W
Competition
UEFA Europa League
Date
20 March 2014
Kick-off
21:05
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
2 - 2
On aggregate
2 - 3
Venue
Stadio San Paolo (Napoli)
Attendance
54145

Goals

G. Pandev 21'
(assist by G. Higuaín) 
1 - 0
1 - 1
69' N. Ghilas
 (assist by Fernando)
1 - 2
76' Ricardo Quaresma
 (assist by Josué)
D. Zapata 90'+2
(assist by José Callejón) 
2 - 2

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
17
91 90+2'
7
2
5
15
20
# Player Bookings
8
11 69'
19
10
16
46
41

Saturday 28 May

12:31
12:08
11:40
11:09
10:37
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09:31
08:21
06:56
06:11
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05:20
05:04
03:58
03:43
03:09
03:07
02:59
02:51
02:33
02:16
01:20
00:41
00:35
00:28
00:10
00:10
00:09

Friday 27 May

23:49
23:47
23:15
23:13
22:48
22:48
22:39
22:39
22:29
22:29
22:14
21:33
21:28
21:21
20:58
20:45
20:35
19:48
19:37
19:36
19:10
18:58
18:58
18:22
17:58
17:44
17:42
17:17
17:05
16:26
15:46
15:10
15:08
14:49
14:40
14:11
13:50
13:37
13:28
13:28
13:21
13:15
12:55
12:50
12:36
12:27
10:43
10:43
10:42
10:39
10:33
10:19
10:04
09:33
09:27
09:10
08:50
08:24
08:17
07:29
04:56
02:58
01:42
01:37
00:00

Thursday 26 May

23:44
23:02
22:43
22:27
21:22
21:11
20:59
20:54
20:48
19:40
19:35
19:35
19:28
19:11
18:51
17:26
17:09
16:57
16:51
16:43
15:33
14:56
14:28
14:27
13:41
13:19
12:10
11:48
11:28
10:51
10:38
10:25
10:08
09:45
09:35
09:08
08:53
08:11
06:17
05:55
04:24
04:24
04:00
03:30
03:29
02:32
02:14
02:09
01:29
01:16
00:29
00:13

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