AC Milan 1-2 Napoli: Goals, highlights and report – Serie A 2022/23

Napoli overcame a real test on Sunday night as they beat AC Milan to go joint top of the Serie A table for the international break.

0

STADIO SAN SIRO (MILAN): Napoli came out on top of a tight, hard-fought contest by beating AC Milan 2-1 on the night that marked the Diavolo’s first defeat of the season, allowing the Partenopei to go top of Serie A level on points (17) with Atalanta. La Dea had taken top spot by beating AS Roma 2-1 away earlier on Sunday.

The visitors scored first when Matteo Politano converted from the spot after 56 minutes, before Olivier Giroud brought Milan level, only to see Giovanni Simeone find a late winner.

Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez celebrate an AC Milan goal. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

AC Milan’s wasteful first half against Napoli

The Rossoneri will certainly regret not to have scored in a first half that saw Alex Meret being tested more than once, as he had to deflect Olivier Giroud’s attempt against the bar, before keeping out Rade Krunic’s header.

Despite his stubborn attempts to dribble his way through Milan’s defenders, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia was safely handled in the opening 45 minutes, but the consequences of his presence were still to be seen.

With the Georgian forcing clear fouls, and the resulting yellow cards, from Simon Kjaer and Davide Calabria, Stefano Pioli opted to sub the pair off at half time, replacing them with Pierre Kalulu and Sergino Dest.

Stefano Pioli’s changes backfired

Matteo Politano celebrates scoring for Napoli. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

Yet, it was a challenge from the American on Kvaratskhelia that allowed Napoli to break the deadlock through Politano’s penalty.

Milan produced an immediate and furious reaction, laying the ball to the left for Theo Hernandez, whose low cross was easily tapped in by Olivier Giroud.

While it looked like the Rossoneri could gain momentum, the Partenopei were sharp to strike again with Simeone, who came off the bench to perfectly head Mario Rui’s cross home.

The home fans thought that a late equaliser was about to come when Pierre Kalulu was left alone to shoot at the far post, but his sliding effort bounced off the crossbar leaving the hosts frustrated.