Sunday, May 20, 2018

Serie A wrap: El Shaarawy brace saves AC Milan

SoccerNews in Serie A 17 Nov 2012


Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice to salvage AC Milan a 2-2 draw at Napoli, while Juventus and Lazio played out a goalless draw on Saturday.

Milan trailed 2-0 after 30 minutes but a brace from Serie A’s leading goalscorer ensured the honours were shared at the Stadio San Paolo.

In light of last weekend’s demoralising defeat at home to Fiorentina, it was imperative that a Milan side desperately low on confidence made a solid start to the game.

They did not, gifting their hosts a goal inside four minutes.

There appeared to be little to worry about when Gokhan Inler let fly from distance but Christian Abbiati was completely deceived by the Swiss international’s swerving shot and could only watch on forlornly as the ball flew past him.

The visitors responded well to falling behind, dominating possession and territory, albeit without really threatening to score.

Napoli’s second goal came as a hammer blow.

Again Abbiati was at fault, the veteran goalkeeper somehow allowing Lorenzo Insigne’s low strike to go under his body with 30 minutes played.

Massimiliano Allegri’s troops refused to let their heads drop and El Shaarawy, so often their saviour this season, dragged them back into a game that looked lost with a stunning effort from the edge of the area.

Buoyed by that wonderful strike, Milan bossed the second period and Bojan Krkic toed wide after a terrific move down the right-hand side before Kevin-Prince Boateng wasted a decent headed opening.

And they eventually drew level inside the final seven minutes when El Shaarawy calmly side-footed the ball past Morgan De Sanctis, taking his season tally to 10 goals.

Defending champions Juventus stuttered to a scoreless stalemate at home to Lazio, their first draw in nine league matches.

Juventus dominated proceedings and spent the final half-hour in the visitors’ half, but never really looked like finding a way past goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, even though Leonardo Bonucci rattled the crossbar from close range.

Antonio Conte’s side have now failed to win their past two home league matches, and although they moved five points clear at the summit, Inter Milan will have the opportunity to close the gap to two points when they play Cagliari on Sunday.


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