AC Milan and Napoli share the spoils in a thrilling draw
A deserved draw between two evenly-matched teams. The Rossoneri once again displayed great character, going toe-to-toe with a great Napoli side at the San Paolo. It ended 2-2 after a thrilling game, which had everything: four goals, 1-1 in both halves, Hernández opening the scoring and Kessie finishing the game from the spot, Lorenzo and Mertens on the scoresheet for the hosts, Saelemaekers’ sending off. There was always the risk of defeat, but AC Milan could well have won too. The away side looked good in a difficult match-up, and are still unbeaten in Serie A since the restart. They played as a team and without any fear. A few errors did creep into their game, but the players reacted well to them. It was a more than decent performance. Importantly, it’s one more point which keeps to Rossoneri on course and in seventh place on 50 points. They’re now two points behind Napoli, four behind Roma and four ahead of Sassuolo. Next up for the Diavolo: Parma at San Siro on matchday 33 in Serie A (Wednesday, 15 July, 19:30 CEST). They’ll have their heads held high.
THE GALLERY FROM NAPOLI V MILAN
Napoli didn’t take long to settle into possession of the football and created some good early chances: Mertens’ low shot went close (14′) and Donnarumma made a fantastic double save to deny Callejon (17′). The Rossoneri recovered and scored in the 20th minute. Rebić did well to shake off the defenders and dig out a cute ball in towards Hernández, who volleyed into the ground to see it nestle in the back of the net. The Partenopei were not put off; Zielinski hit the post from distance (23′) before Napoli struck back. A freekick was lofted into the penalty area, Gigio made the initial save but didn’t clear it away and Di Lorenzo swept onto the rebound and put it into an empty net. Balance was restored to the scoreline and, after Fabian’s wayward effort, the whistle was blown for half-time.
After the break, Saelemaekers took Paquetá’s place and the Belgian was immediately into the action. He fed Ibrahimović, whose shot was saved by Ospina. Callejon had a go in the 52nd minute, but it was too high. Napoli turned it around in the 61st minute; Mertens was fed by Callejon and put it through Donnarumma’s legs – 2-1. Leão had a go in the 67th minute, but it was too high. But AC Milan didn’t give up and, in the 73th minute, got back level from the spot. Maksimovic brought Bonaventura down in the box and Kessie was ice-cold and stuck the penalty away. Saelemaekers was shown a second yellow card late on and the Rossoneri finished the game with ten men. It was a nervy final few minutes, but the result didn’t change. 2-2 at full-time.
NAPOLI 2-2 AC MILAN
NAPOLI (4-3-3): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Fabian (65′ Elmas), Lobotka (65′ Demme), Zielinski; Callejon (84′ Politano), Mertens (74′ Milik), Insigne (74′ Lozano). Subs: Meret; Ghoulam, Hysaj, Luperto, Manolas; Allan; Younes. Coach: Gattuso.
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Conti, Kjær, Romagnoli, Hernández; Kessie, Bennacer; Paquetá (46′ Saelemaekers), Çalhanoğlu (61′ Bonaventura), Rebić (88′ Krunić); Ibrahimović (61′ Leão). Subs: Begović, Soncin; Calabria, Gabbia, Laxalt; Biglia, Brescianini; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: La Penna from Roma.
Goals: 20′ Hernández (M), 34′ Di Lorenzo (N), 60′ Mertens (N), 73′ pen. Kessie (M), .
Booked: 9′ Di Lorenzo (N), 30′ Mario Rui (N), 75′ Hernández (M), 77′ Conti (M).
Sent Off: 87′ Saelemaekers (M).