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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

W W W W 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 Josue)
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

Wednesday 3 September

Tuesday 2 September

21:38
21:20
21:01
20:28
20:20
19:48
18:17
18:08
18:07
17:55
17:35
17:25
17:05
17:02
16:45
16:36
16:25
16:24
16:03
15:50
14:53
13:52
13:41
13:22
13:16
12:55
12:46
12:35
12:00
11:46
11:39
11:34
11:15
10:56
10:56
10:46
10:15
09:57
09:41
09:20
08:23
08:02
07:52
07:35
07:33
06:06
05:11
03:22
02:54
02:53
02:41
02:39
02:32
01:57
01:54
01:30
00:49
00:49
00:41
00:37
00:19
00:06

Monday 1 September

23:44
23:39
23:19
22:59
22:47
22:45
22:35
22:28
22:04
22:02
21:51
21:44
20:53
20:46
20:39
20:26
20:12
20:09
20:07
19:35
18:45
18:40
18:33
18:23
18:15
18:08
17:52
17:52
17:44
17:43
17:33
17:23
17:18
17:04
17:03
16:49
15:49
15:35
15:33
15:31
14:32
14:32
14:28
13:50
13:14
13:09
12:57
12:50
12:06
11:58
11:39
11:07
10:57
10:50
10:22
10:16
09:26
09:19
07:47
06:50
06:48
06:01
05:35
04:55
04:51
04:00
03:56
03:53
02:58
02:45
02:27
02:27
02:00
01:06
00:25
00:17
00:14
00:03

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