Higuain was only a substitute and there were reports the striker told Benitez he didn't want to start.
"I made the decision. We watch the players in every training session and I decided it was better to start with Pandev," insisted the Coach.
"If we find space for the rapid counter-attack, then we make it difficult for anyone. We had a few chances and moved the ball around well, but against a strong side like Roma to concede a goal on the stroke of half-time and another on a penalty it becomes difficult for everyone.
"I look at the performance and in terms of character Napoli did very well this evening. I said beforehand this game would not decide the title, but clearly with the way we played tonight I'd say it was a positive evening. We played well and this bodes well for the future."
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