Monday, March 27, 2017

AC Milan 1-2 Napoli: Milan Can’t Overcome Early Deficit in Thrilling Contest

Luca D'Amico-Wong in Editorial, Serie A 21 Jan 2017

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Milan vs Napoli

Napoli defeated Milan in a thrilling contest at the San Siro. Image: Getty Images

AC Milan failed to seize a crucial opportunity for European qualification, losing 1-2 to Napoli.

First Half

Milan were unable to overcome an early deficit on Saturday, falling behind thanks to two early goals from Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne which were both assisted by Dries Mertens.

Milan fell behind by two in the first ten minutes, their leaky defense giving up two goals.

The first came from the Italian; he placed the ball just past Gianluigi Donnarumma from outside the box.

The second was a magnificent finish from the Spaniard.

He managed to find enough space to thread the ball between Donnarumma and the near post, securing the goal that would eventually be the game winner.

Milan found themselves in a situation familiar to that of last week, where they fell behind 2-0 in the early minutes to Torino.

After the second goal, Napoli became more complacent, choosing to sit back and defend their two goal lead.

This would prove to be costly.

After constant pressuring from Milan, the hosts eventually got their goal.

Their high press allowed them to dispossess Jorginho, and Juraj Kucka was able to reach the box, and tuck the ball into the back of the net with a simple finish.

Second Half

The hosts entered the half down 1-2, Vincenzo Montella obviously angry with his defense, who was missing Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia De Sciglio due to suspension and injury.

Whatever Montella said to the team during the break certainly worked.

Milan started the second half off strong, dominating Napoli, and even hitting the crossbar courtesy of Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic.

This pressure continued for the remainder of the second half, and both sides were beginning to get frustrated.

Three yellow cards were given, and the tension continued to mount.

Both sides had plenty of opportunities, and they provided a thrilling contest that was entertaining to watch, to say the least.

The match ended with a Donnarumma header which fell into the arms of Pepe Reina.

Unfortunately for the hosts, they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities they had, and they paid the price.

They now stand seven points behind Napoli, albeit with a game in hand, and Champions League qualification is starting to look further and further away.

Lineups

AC Milan: Donnarumma 5.5; Abate 5.5, Gomez 5, Paletta 5.5, Calabria 5.5; Bonaventura 7.5, Kucka 6.5, Sosa 5.5 (Bertolacci 74); Pasalic 6 (Niang 86), Bacca 5.5 (Lapadula 73), Suso 5.5

Unused Substitutes: Storari, Plizzari, Antonelli, Vangioni, Zapata, Ely, Poli, Honda, Cutrone

Napoli: Reina 6; Strinic 6.5, Hysaj 5.5, Tonelli 5, Albiol 6.5; Jorginho 5.5 (Diawara 61), Hamsik 6.5 (Zielinski 74), Allan 6.5 (Rog 86); Mertens 7, Insigne 7.5, Callejon 6.5

Unused Substitutes: Sepe, Rafael, Lasicki, Maggio, Maksimovic, Giaccherini, Pavoletti, Gabbiadini

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi

Other Serie A Results Today:

Chievo 0-3 Fiorentina

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luca D'Amico-Wong


Writer for Various Blogs including The AC Milan Offside on SBNation, Courtside Watch, Forza Italian Football, Clash Royale Tactics, and Soccer News. Loves AC Milan and Roger Federer. Avid football and video game fan who loves to travel. Will find blogging about football and video games in his free time.

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