Napoli's Mazzarri after Inter win: Lavezzi has become a champion

The coach could hide his joy after the Azzurri recorded an important victory over their rivals for Champions League places and reserved special praise for Ezequiel Lavezzi
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri has lavished praise on his team's performance in their 1-0 win over Inter at the San Paolo on Sunday, which saw them climb to fifth place in the standings.

The Azzurri were on top form as they edged Claudio Ranieri's men courtesy of a first-half strike by Ezequiel Lavezzi, holding on until the end despite being reduced to 10 men after Salvatore Aronica was sent off in the second period.

The 50-year-old trainer was impressed by the spirit shown by his players, and even went on to say that Sunday's performance could have been even better than the 3-1 against Chelsea earlier in the week, whilst also reserving special praise for Lavezzi.

"We were very good in the first period, we were aggressive and we pinned Inter in their own half," he began, as quoted by Il Corriere dello Sport.

"We played a great game, perhaps even better than the one against Chelsea. Lavezzi has made ​​great strides, he is scoring with more consistency, he has matured and has become a champion.

"I am in love with these guys, when our adventure in Naples first started nobody imagined we would come this far."

Napoli sit fifth in the standings, five points behind the Champions League places, and visit Parma on March 4.