In the high-stakes Sunday match of Serie A’s 24th matchday, Milan emerged victorious against Napoli, continuing their impressive ongoing streak in the league with a total of nine consecutive positive results, including seven wins and two draws. Thanks to Theo Hernandez’s swift strike in the first half, Milan triumphed with a 1-0 victory at San Siro. The Rossoneri, under the leadership of Pioli, have now accumulated 52 points and are temporarily just one point behind second-placed Juventus, who will face Udinese in their next match. On the other hand, despite their recent streak of positive results, Mazzarri’s Napoli suffered a defeat, keeping their points tally stagnant at 35.
The match started on an evenly-balanced note, with Napoli creating the first major opportunity in the 10th minute. Kvaratskhelia bypassed Gabbia with a swift dribble and passed it to Simeone at the center, who unfortunately missed the goal by a narrow margin. Milan, on the other hand, adopted a patient game strategy, allowing Napoli the freedom to manoeuvre. However, at their first offensive move, Milan’s ‘devil’ struck – Leao assisted Theo Hernandez with a vertical pass, and the French winger successfully scored the first and only goal of the match with a powerful left-footed strike against Gollini. A few minutes later, Leao made another attempt with a curling shot that was skillfully deflected by Napoli’s goalkeeper.
As the second half of the match commenced, Gollini once again saved Napoli from a deflected shot by Florenzi. He blocked the ball in two stages and also prevented an easy tap-in by Giroud. Meanwhile, Mazzarri’s team attempted to turn the tide with Simeone and Politano leading the offensive, but both missed their chances to score.
In the 70th minute, Milan had a golden opportunity to extend their lead, but Leao squandered it by shooting wide from an excellent position following an assist from Musah. As the match approached its conclusion, Napoli made every possible attempt to avoid defeat and came quite close to equalizing in the 89th minute. A cross from Lindstrom led to Simic’s intervention that almost resulted in an own goal, but the ball hit the post. On the rebound, Maignan managed to deflect Di Lorenzo’s shot leading to a corner.