The Partenopei conceded a late goal to lose the first leg of the Coppa Italia 3-2 but the Spaniard was happy with his side's showing after the weekend loss to AtalantaRafa Benitez was happy with Napoli's positive response against Roma despite their 3-2 defeat condemning them to a second-straight loss.
The Partenopei were beaten 3-0 by Atalanta in Serie A at the weekend and found themselves 2-0 down at half-time on Wednesday in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg, but fought back to level the match at 2-2 late in the second period.
Gervinho struck in the closing minutes to hand his side the win, but Benitez was nonetheless proud of his players' reaction on the pitch - and insists the final remains well within reach.
"The match was spectacular and all supporters must have been glad to see the game. The positive side is we scored two goals, and the reaction of the team after the defeat in Bergamo, but it's not positive to go two goals down in the first half," he told Rai Sport.
"We can win at the San Paolo. They were good, especially in the third goal with the one-two, and it was hard to stop them. The first goal was offside. It was clear, I don't have to say anything.
"I compliment Gervinho for scoring two great goals, but I hope he doesn't score in the second leg.
"We think we can win the second leg and if we do that then we can reach the final. A 1-0 win could be sufficient. It's a great shame we conceded the third goal, but our reaction was very, very positive.
"This Napoli is a new team with many new players and to be doing so well is impressive, in my view. I believe we are on the right path to grow."
The second leg takes place in Naples on February 12. -------------- goal.com