‘It wasn’t an easy game’ - Apologetic Ghoulam reacts to Napoli’s Champions League ouster

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Mohamed Salah’s goal, coupled with a superb late Alisson save, denied the Italians a last-16 spot

Following Napoli’s relegation to the Europa League on Tuesday evening, Faouzi Gholam has issued an apology to the fans and club.

The Naples outfit entered Matchday 6 of the Champions League as Group C leaders with nine points, one ahead of Paris Saint-Germain who took on bottom-placed Red Star Belgrade. Liverpool trailed by three points and where firmly in the race for a last-16 ticket.

All needed to confirm the Italians' spot in the knockout phase of the competition was to avoid defeat at Anfield, but a Mohamed Salah 34-minute strike, coupled with a comfortable PSG victory in Serbia saw Carlo Ancelotti’s men slip from the top of the standings to be compensated with a UEL round of 32 ticket .

Ghoulam who played the last 20 minutes of the tie rued their luck, inefficiency in front of goal and the difficulty posed by Jurgen Klopp's charges.

“It wasn’t an easy game, they scored in the first half and we had to attack,” Ghoulam told Sky Sports, per Calciomercato.

“It was the perfect game for us. We are so sorry because we played very well in the six games of the group stage. We missed a goal and that made the difference. We are out for only one goal.

“The season is not over, there are still many games in Serie A and Europa League.

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"We are sorry for the fans and four ourselves. Everybody expected us to be eliminated easily but we fought hard and we only missed one goal. We struggled to create goal chances because of their pressing, we had a good chance but we didn’t make the most of it. It’s a pity.”

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