The Partenopei crashed out of the competition on Wednesday in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday with a 2-0 defeat of the Premier League leaders, who were keen on signing the Argentine over the summer before he landed at the San Paolo.
A 3-0 result would’ve seen Rafael Benitez’s men through to the knockout stages, whilst a victory by any margin in concert with a draw or loss by Borussia Dortmund away to Marseille would also have achieved qualification.
But the southern Italian outfit came up a goal short as Dortmund agonisingly left it late in France, propelling Arsenal to the round of 16 alongside the Germans despite Napoli having finished level with the two on 12 points in Group F.
Higuain was left in tears after the final whistle condemned his side to an early exit from the tournament, later ruing the harsh reality of the tiebreaker rules.
“We didn’t get anything wrong,” he said to Sky Sport Italia. “We had 12 points, just like Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund, but still went out.
“It’s the first time a team has done so well in the group stage and still gone out.
“It’s bizarre that we have been eliminated with 12 points when some teams can go through with just one victory.”
Zenit St Petersburg indeed were able to move on to the knockouts with just a single win, having scraped six points through the lone triumph and three draws.
Higuain did see a silver lining, however, in Napoli’s demonstration of strength by dealing the Gunners just their fifth loss in 25 competitive fixtures this season.
“Tonight we beat the Premier League leaders with a fine performance, played better than Arsenal and I am very happy with how the team played," he added.
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