An unimpressed Carlo Ancelotti branded Red Star Belgrade "professionals at time wasting" after Napoli were held to a 0-0 away draw in their Champions League opener.
Napoli dominated possession and twice struck the crossbar without ever putting goalkeeper Milan Borjan under sustained pressure in the Serbian capital on Tuesday.
It made for a frustrating start for Serie A side Napoli, who face a difficult fight to escape Group C, which also includes Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ancelotti is confident his team can make up for the dropped points but was less positive about Red Star's method of negotiating the final stages.
"It was inevitable that the last 15 minutes would be different," Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italy.
"They are professionals at time wasting and diving. They play tight and they are always looking for a foul.
"But that's not the problem. We should have scored earlier.
"It was close, we just lacked the final spark. We made little mistakes in passing and shooting. We were unlucky too."
0 - This only the third match in the history of modern Champions League in which Napoli haven't score. Caged.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 18, 2018
While tougher tasks are still to come, the experienced Ancelotti – three times a Champions League winner as a coach – warned against overreacting to Tuesday's result.
"We didn't win an important game, but we shouldn't be so negative," he said.
"There are still five games to go and we can beat anyone. We didn’t score, it's a pity, but we were very close."
|River Plate´s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure|
|Klopp: I was never worried about Salah´s form|
|Packers QB Rodgers sets NFL record for most passes without an interception|
|World Cup bulking hampered Man United form – Lukaku|
|Leonardo rules out Ibrahimovic Milan return|
|Warriors´ Green to return against Timberwolves|
|I feel for him… we´ll make it work – Butler responds to Embiid´s frustration|
|Torino draw no missed opportunity for misfiring AC Milan, claims Gattuso|
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|
|Mavericks rookie Doncic leads impressive fourth-quarter surge to beat Rockets|
|Martinez named MLS Cup MVP|
|Oklahoma´s Murray wins the Heisman Trophy|
|Atlanta United 2 Portland Timbers 0: Martinez scores again as Martino´s men win MLS Cup|
|Sarri to use Hazard as centre forward again|
|Ballon d´Or is a lie – Alba says Messi is world´s best|
|Messi: I needed some luck with free-kicks|
|Hoffman, Woodland in three-way tie for lead|
|Brook unconvincing in Zerafa victory|
|Leo unties any game - Valverde hails mesmeric Messi|
|Pochettino: Walker-Peters ready for Barcelona challenge|
|Messi showed he is world´s best - Busquets|
|Messi scores two free-kicks in a LaLiga game for first time|