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Naples-AC Milan: Giroud insatiable, Maignan feverish... the tops and the flops


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Naples-AC Milan: Giroud insatiable, Maignan feverish... the tops and the flops


The top scorer in the history of the French team had not scored for eight games in the AC MIlan jersey. He set the record straight this evening during a big meeting. After a first opportunity with his right foot, the 37-year-old striker delivered a magnificent double header (22nd, 31st) to allow his team to take the lead at the break. Always valuable in pressing and in pivot play, the former Montpellier, now with 6 goals in the championship, fulfilled his mission perfectly this evening. Until his exit, ten minutes from the end, which did not please him at all. Stefano Pioli preferred to launch Luka Jovic, author of a tasteless entry.

Totally transparent in the first period, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori sounded the revolt upon returning from the locker room. Without Victor Osimhen, still injured, Napoli could have sunk to 0-2 but Politano restarted the machine with a superb individual action. The Neapolitan surge subdued Milan, who gave in a second time on the powerful free kick from Raspadori, otherwise very mobile at the forefront. The Georgian Kvaratskhelia did not find the net for his part but his dribbles left a constant threat in the area. This is evidenced by the final action of the game, Maignan repelling his attempt at close range to save a point.

In an evening marked by the regrettable events that occurred in Marseille on the sidelines of the OM-OL match in Ligue 1, this summit shock in Italy kept all its promises. The last two champions offered 90 minutes of high level, with play, great goals and a breathtaking storyline. A remake of last year's Champions League quarter-final, this duel between Naples and Milan will remain as one of the most beautiful matches of the start of the season. Enough to restore the image of football, tainted this Sunday by extremely serious events in France.


Already borrowed on Wednesday on the lawn of the Parc des Princes, against PSG in C1, the French goalkeeper once again showed himself feverish at the Maradona stadium. Quiet in the first half, the former Lille goalkeeper found himself at the forefront of Napoli's sudden awakening after the break. A loose ball inside six meters almost gave Kvaratskhelia the equalizer while on Raspadori's successful free kick, open side, his placement seems doubtful. Fortunately, he avoided the worst by avoiding the 3-2 at the last minute but his overall performance leaves something to be desired. At this point, “Mike” has lost his “Magic” side. A poor form which coincides with the insufficient results of his team.

Established in central defense alongside Fikayo Tomori, the Frenchman started the game well before giving up his place in the 19th minute, due to a muscle injury. His premature exit hurt AC Milan especially as his replacement, Marco Pellegrino, went through hell against the Neapolitan speed. The young 21-year-old Argentinian was in great difficulty until he too got injured at the end of the match. Bad evening for the Milanese rearguard, kept at arm's length by the excellent match of its captain, Davide Calabria.

The Naples defenders also suffered, like the Brazilian, beaten in his duel by Giroud. Absent from marking the Habs' first goal, with his friend Rrahmani taken out at half-time by Rudi Garcia, Natan received his first yellow card by fouling the Milan number 9. Then, due to a delayed charge on Romero, he logically saw red with a second warning. There was only added time left to play. Naples held on but the 22-year-old will be missing next Saturday at Salernitana.

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