Vincenzo Montella insisted AC Milan can hold their heads high after matching it with Napoli, despite Saturday's defeat.
Napoli were 2-1 winners over Milan in a thrilling Serie A fixture at San Siro, thanks to two goals in the first half.
Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon scored in the first nine minutes to stun Milan, who pulled a goal back via Juraj Kucka prior to half-time.
Milan pushed in search of an equaliser but were unsuccessful against the third-placed visitors on home soil, however head coach Montella was still proud of his team while they claiming they did not deserve to lose.
"I don't think we did take the wrong initial approach this time, as we tried to control the game," Montella told Mediaset Premium.
"This time our opponents were really good at scoring two goals and in the circumstances we have to tip our hats to them. Unfortunately those two goals shook us up, but we didn't lose our heads.
"It was a great game of football with a lot of quality and I enjoyed myself, so I'm sure the fans did too. I am happy with what my lads did, I'm satisfied with the performance and feel we played on a par with the side that let's not forget finished second last season and is about to face Real Madrid in the Champions League.
"We have just begun our journey and this should make us look forward with optimism. We go on with heads held high."
Milan have only won one of their past five fixtures to sit fifth in the table, seven points adrift of the third and final Champions League qualification position occupied by Napoli, though they do have a game in hand.
"I'd rather not talk about targets and aspirations right now. We have a game in hand and are therefore in line with our targets. We need to remain clear-headed even in defeat, realising we had a great performance even without important players," Montella added.
"I think there are few teams who played on a par with Napoli this season. At times we had control and I don't feel we deserved the defeat. I am disappointed at the result, but satisfied with how we played."
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