Champions League: AC Milan has a slim lead over Naples in the quarter-finals


AC Milan, thanks to a dry strike from Ismaël Bennacer, took an option on the semi-finals of the Champions League by winning the physical challenge against Naples (1-0) on Wednesday in the quarter-final first leg.

The 100% Italian duel remains open with a view to returning in six days to the Diego-Maradona stadium, where Naples hopes to find Victor Osimhen, whose power missed at San Siro, but will be without midfielder André-Frank Anguissa, excluded at a quarter. end time, and defender Kim Min-jae, who will also be suspended.

Milan only had two shots on target in an intense game. But the first was enough to make the difference thanks to a counter concluded by Ismaël Bennacer (40th). Even if the Italian champions, looking for a first C1 semi-final since 2007, may regret not hitting the nail on the head eleven against ten.

If Naples dominates outrageously in the league, with a scudetto already almost in his pocket nine days from the end, he discovered for the first time the pressure of a quarter-final of C1 in the den of San Siro and against a Milan which remains, with seven coronations, the most successful club in the competition behind Real Madrid (14).

The rossonero coach Stefano Piolo had unsurprisingly lined up the same eleven as the one who, ten days ago, had given the lesson to Napoli (4-0).

In the absence of his top scorer Victor Osimhen and his usual substitute Giovanni Simeone, injured, Luciano Spalletti had finally bet on Eljif Elmas, aligned in a role of false 9 in which the coach liked to play Totti at Roma he almost twenty years ago.

In the Milanese rain, Naples started strong with a huge first chance after only fifty seconds: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia inherited a ball poorly cleared by the Milanese Rade Krunic but the Georgian stumbled on the Bosnian who returned in disaster to save in front of his line.

Flawless Maignan

Mike Maignan then worked to take out two powerful shots from Anguissa (4th) then Piotr Zielinski (12th) during an apnea start to the match for the Rossoneri.

Leao woke up Milan with one of his secret rides, concluded with a shot from just wide (25th) followed by a furious kick into a corner post.

Naples cracked on a new perfect counter from the Rossoneri, initiated by Brahim Diaz after a high-flying oriented control. After a relay with Leao, Bennacer concluded with a dry strike that Alex Meret could only touch.

The Milanese could even have escaped before the break but Simon Kjaer saw his overpowered head bounce off the bar (45 + 3rd).

Naples tried to react to the return from the locker room with Elmas not far from surprising Maignan, a little too advanced (50th), then with Di Lorenzo with a deflected shot (53rd).

But Spalletti’s players, like Kvaratskhelia getting entangled in the Lombard defense, did not have their usual physical impact. Anguissa paid dearly for it, warned twice in less than five minutes for two desperate interventions on a Theo Hernandez leaving at full speed (70th, 74th).

At ten, Naples pushed despite everything but fell on an impeccable Maignan until the end in front of Di Lorenzo (87th). The Neapolitan tifosi are now praying that Osimhen will be restored in six days.


Laisser un commentaire