Napoli striker Edinson Cavani is keeping his feet firmly on the ground after he and his team-mates maintained the pressure on Serie A leaders AC Milan tonight. Cavani was the hero for Napoli as his two goals handed his side a 2-0 triumph over Roma. The victory at the Stadio Olimpico followed their 2-0 triumph over Cesena and kept Napoli in second place, three points behind Milan.
"We are extremely happy," said Cavani, who is the leading scorer in Serie A with 20 goals. "We worked very hard to get a victory and we fully deserve to go home with three points. I don't think with this win we have sent a message to anyone.
"We are simply a united group that wants to compete for something important. We try to always improve and give 100%. But we have to continue to work hard and remain humble."
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri conceded his team were outplayed by the Naples outfit. "It has been a clear defeat," he said. "All of the Napoli players worked very hard today. We had just one chance in the game and we have to compliment Napoli because they were determined from start to finish. We are not happy but we have to work hard and turn the page."
Ranieri believes this defeat, which followed their 5-3 loss at Inter Milan, has somewhat dented Roma's scudetto ambitions. The Eternal City giants have dropped 13 points behind Milan. "We have to change our aims," said Ranieri. "To talk about the scudetto right now seems difficult. But we will not give up. We just have to keep working and see where we finish."
Tonight's loss was all the more painful as Ranieri's men had gone into the match in Rome as the only Serie A team yet to lose at home this season. However, Ranieri expects his side to bounce back immediately.
Roma host Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. "One defeat cannot undo the work we have done in one-and-a-half years," he said. On Wednesday we face another difficult encounter and we have to prepare for it in the best possible way."