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Napoli coach Benitez happy to progress

The draw was enough to book Napoli's place in the last 32, staying top of Group I after the stalemate at the Generali Arena.

Benitez felt the draw was a fair result, and he took plenty of positives out of the encounter.

"We started well but after the first 10 minutes Sparta put us under real pressure; in the second half we improved and created chances," the Spaniard was quoted as saying by UEFA.

"I think a draw is a fair result on the balance of play. The positive news tonight is that we are through with one match to spare and we did not concede a goal."

Benitez reserved special praise for defender Raul Albiol and goalkeeper Rafael Cabral after his team's fourth clean sheet in their past five games in all competitions.

"The match wasn't at all easy, but I saw a lot of positive things," he said.

"Raul Albiol and Rafael Cabral played very well, they were really dependable and prevented Sparta from scoring in several situations."