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Gattuso: Napoli will buy helmets and armour for Barcelona second leg

The Italian manager is ready for a battle when his side make the trip to Barcelona

Gennaro Gattuso said Napoli would buy “helmets and armour” to take into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona.

Despite going ahead through Dries Mertens, who equalled Napoli’s all-time goalscoring record, the Serie A side were held 1-1 at home on Tuesday.

Antoine Griezmann levelled for Barca during the second half, although the La Liga giants also had Arturo Vidal sent off late.

And Gattuso said his team were ready for a battle at Camp Nou on March 18 as the former Italy midfielder says that he believes his side has a real chance at taking down Barcelona. 

“Nothing is over for us when we’re playing the last 16 in the Champions League, not even when we play cards,” the Napoli head coach told a news conference following Tuesday’s match.

“We know the difficulties we are going through. We will buy helmets and armour.

“We will get all the necessary [tools] and will play the next game. Nothing is over.”

While Mertens’ brilliant finish gave Napoli a lead, a well-worked team move led to Griezmann’s equaliser for Barca.

Gattuso lamented his side’s defending for Griezmann’s goal, but was largely satisfied with their performance.

“I am disappointed because we made kind of a mistake defensively and they hit us. For sure we could do better,” he said.

“When Lorenzo Insigne had his chance [Arkadiusz] Milik and [Piotr] Zielinski were not marked. Perhaps we could have exploited that situation in a better way. Same applies for [Jose] Callejon.

“There is some disappointment, we suffered but the team did almost everything right from a tactical point of view.

“I am happy for this, perhaps we could have done better passing. This is the only regret.”

Napoli are set to face Torino this weekend as Gattuso’s side currently sits sixth in Serie A, nine points behind fourth-place Atalanta and six points behind fifth-place Roma.

Following the match against Torino, Gattuso and Napoli are set to play host to Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia on March 5. 

Barcelona, meanwhile, sit atop La Liga, two points ahead of Real Madrid ahead of El Clasico this Sunday at the Bernebeu. 

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