Serie A: Napoli are closing the gap to Juventus, claims Sarri

Napoli's 3-2 Coppa Italia semi-final win over Juventus shows the club are closing the gap, Maurizio Sarri said, despite his side's exit.

Maurizio Sarri believes Napoli are closing the gap to Juventus after recording a 3-2 Coppa Italia semi-final second leg win at Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday.

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice against his old side to ensure Juve made it to the final for the third year in a row, progressing 5-4 on aggregate after a chaotic match, but Napoli beat Juventus for the first time in four attempts this season.

Sarri believes his team's 3-1 deficit from February's first leg in Turin, in which Higuain was also on target, had left Napoli with too much to do.

"It was a great performance, we scored three goals against a side that usually concedes very few, but we were unable to overturn the first leg result," Sarri told Rai Sport.

"There are some regrets, at the end those 20 seconds in Turin where we could've gone 2-2 and instead went 3-1 down really made the difference.

"They made a big impact on the tie overall, naturally luck makes a difference in these situations. 

"The good thing about these two games is that we are slowly closing the quality gap on Juventus."

Napoli had drawn with Juventus 1-1 at home in the league on Sunday, with Marek Hamsik cancelling out Sami Khedira's early opener.

"We need to finish the growth process in terms of character, maturity, tactics and concentration," Sarri added. "It's a team that overall seems to have grown a great deal already. 

"On Sunday we caused huge problems for Juventus, tonight [Wednesday] we changed six or seven players and still caused them problems. That's positive.

"We had several players born in the 1990s and that too is positive. I think that over the course of this season, the team to have made life the most difficult for Juventus was us."

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes