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Milan vs Napoli: Winning Rossoneri with minimum score, Partenopei return to title race

Napoli returned to the title racing after winning 1-0 dramatically against AC Milan in the 18th Serie A game yesterday evening. Both teams are now having the same 39 points but Napoli are better in sub-indexes. They are chasing the top team Inter Milan with 4 points more and leading the first leg of Serie A this season.
Harry Siuu
By: Harry Siuu
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AC Milan vs Napoli Prediction

In the first 3 months of the 2021-22 Serie A, AC Milan and Napoli competed aggressively for first place on the ranking table. However, they have suddenly played worse recently and lost the top rank in Inter Milan’s hand. 

 

Before the game kicked off, both teams understood that a win was extremely important to their position when Milan were standing second with 39 points and Napoli were at the fourth rank with exactly 3 points less than Rossoneri. According to statistics, Milan had more advantages in the game because they were played at their home field San Siro and had better performances as well. 

 

AC Milan have been in a 1-1 tie against Udinese, leaving the top rank for Inter Milan. However, their form were still highly appreciated with a series of 3 unbeaten games (2 wins and 1 draw). Meanwhile, Milan had lost 0-1 against Empoli right at their home stadium, extending their winless run with 1 draw and 2 losses in the latest games. 

 

As a host team, Milan have been having an impressive achievement at their home field with 6 wins, 1 draws and 1 loss. Napoli have been not too bad as the visitors with 5 wins, 2 draws and just 1 loss.  

 

As the favourites for the champion title this season, both AC Milan and Napoli were predicted to play hard and aggressively to gain perfect 3 points for their team. 

 

Milan vs Napoli

Milan 0-1 Napoli

XI line-ups: 

  • AC Milan (4-2-3-1 system): Mike Maignan, Alessandro Florenzi (Pierre Kalulu 86'), Fikayo Tomori, Alessio Romagnoli, Fodé Ballo-Toure; Sandro Tonali (Ismaël Bennacer 78'), Franck Kessie, Junior Messias (Samu Castillejo 79'), Brahim Diaz (Olivier Giroud 63'), Rade Krunic (Alexis Saelemaekers 63'), Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
  • SSC Napoli (4-2-3-1 system): David Ospina, Kévin Malcuit, Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Di Lorenzo (Matteo Politano 77'), Diego Demme (Stanislav Lobotka 53'), André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Hirving Lozano, Piotr Zielinski (Adam Ounas 77'), Elif Elmas (Faouzi Ghoulam 87'), Andrea Petagna (Dries Mertens 78').

 

Despite having home advantage, AC Milan were careless to be conceded a goal right in the 5th minute thanks to Eljif Elmas’s header. The home team managed to equalize the score to save their second rank but it sounded that they were not lucky when facing the Partenopei. Their ball possession, their passes and pass accuracy ratio were even less than the opponents’ in the whole game. Both teams had themselves 2 shots on target but Elmas’s goal was the only accepted one. 

 

Elif Elmas shines

 

There has not been any chance for a goal until the ending minutes of the game. Milan seemed to have an equalizing late goal thanks to Franck Kessie’s shining but VAR denied that goal, determining Olivier Giroud was offside. 

 

Beating Milan with a minimum score, Napoli earned perfect 3 points to claim the second position of the home team. Napoli and Milan had the same 29 points after 18 matches but their goal difference was better. On the other side, Inter Milan, because of having 4 points more than Napoli and Milan (43 points), officially won the first leg of the 2021-22 Serie A season no matter how their next game’s result will be.  

Some talking points after the match

Milan had to pay a heavy cost due to the midfield’s bad performances

Tonali was considered one of the best midfielders of Milan this season but the youngster failed to defend against Elmas on the corner in this game, causing the opening goal for the visitors. The Italian did not play well later in the whole game. Another one, Kessie, also played with his lack of focus with poor performances in the match. In the end, he scored a goal but it was overruled. 

 

Tonali did not play well

Zlatan-Giroud problem

Ibrahimovic and Giroud have managed to score crucial goals since the beginning of this season but there would be a difficult problem if the people behind them are not on the needed level. At the start of the season, Leao, Rebic and an in-form Diaz were great but now Leao and Rebic have been in injuries and Diaz has been struggling with his unstable form, making Rossoneri’s squad be in crisis. In addition, Zlatan and Giroud are out of their best form due to their age so Milan need more changes in the attacking line to secure their position in the future. 

 

Zlatan and Giroud could not score to save Milan's position

Reference Sources

  • legaseriea.it
  • sempremilan.com
Harry Siuu
Written by: Harry Siuu
a specialized football specialist with over ten years' experience as a football journalist who works for Betimate.com.

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Premier League
Overall table PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1 Arsenal 50 19 16 2 1 45 16 29
2 Man City 45 20 14 3 3 53 20 33
3 Newcastle 39 20 10 9 1 33 11 22
4 Man Utd 39 20 12 3 5 32 25 7
5 Tottenham 36 21 11 3 7 40 31 9
6 Brighton 31 19 9 4 6 37 27 10
7 Fulham 31 21 9 4 8 32 30 2
8 Brentford 30 20 7 9 4 32 28 4
9 Liverpool 29 19 8 5 6 34 25 9
10 Chelsea 29 20 8 5 7 22 21 1
11 Aston Villa 28 20 8 4 8 23 27 -4
12 Crystal Palace 24 20 6 6 8 18 27 -9
13 Nottm Forest 21 20 5 6 9 16 35 -19
14 Leicester 18 20 5 3 12 28 35 -7
15 Leeds 18 19 4 6 9 26 33 -7
16 West Ham 18 20 5 3 12 17 25 -8
17 Wolverhampton 17 20 4 5 11 12 30 -18
18 Bournemouth 17 20 4 5 11 19 42 -23
19 Everton 15 20 3 6 11 15 28 -13
20 Southampton 15 20 4 3 13 17 35 -18