Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri admits that his side's 3-0 victory over Inter in Serie A on Saturday was the greatest birthday present he could have wished for.
The San Paolo outfit put on a second-half show to down Claudio Ranieri's men at San Siro, but seemingly profited from Joel Obi's first-half sending off and a subsequent penalty.
However, Mazzarri, who turned 50 on Saturday, does not think that the incidents made much impact on the final outcome of the match.
“I thank my players for having given me the greatest birthday gift I could’ve asked for," said Mazzarri. "Incidents do happen in football and I said the same last season when we conceded a penalty and then lost against AC Milan.
"I think we played well and in terms of overall performance we deserved the win tonight [Saturday]. We were denied a clear penalty against Fiorentina last week, so mistakes happen to everyone over the course of a campaign."
The tactician then reflected on the rapid progress his team have made in recent times, as only seven years ago Napoli were forced to reform as a club and ply their trade in Serie C1, now the Lega Pro Prima Divisione.
"The team has grown a lot this season and has even more character," enthused Mazzarri. "Playing in the Europa League helped us a lot, while now we are learning even more from facing Barcelona, Manchester City and other top clubs.
“The squad has undergone a rapid progression as there are youngsters who have become mature footballers like Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, while it's also a pleasure to coach the likes of Paolo Cannavaro and Salvatore Aronica.
"The Scudetto? We’ll take it one game at a time.”
Napoli are currently top of the Serie A table following their win at Inter, but await the results of their league rivals on Sunday.