For the third time in the last month or so, AC Milan managed to get the better of an extremely in-form Napoli, as they held them to a 1-1 draw at Naples. The tie sees Milan advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline. Napoli fans will be left wondering what could’ve been had Kvaratskhelia converted from the penalty spot before Victor Osimhen struck in the dying moments of the game.
As expected, Napoli controlled the game throughout in dominating fashion, with 74% of possession to account for the same. What transpired though, tells an entirely different story, with Milan’s defense and especially Mike Maignan, pulling off a performance of a lifetime to hold off Napoli’s constant threats.
23 shots and an xG of 2.22 should’ve been more than enough to see Napoli through to the next stage but a Milan defensive performance nothing short of what you’d have expected from a Milan team of the 90s put an end to all of those dreams. The Serie A title holders capped off their performance with an Olivier Giroud goal in the 43rd minute after a devastating fast break.
The entire match could be summed up with what went down in the 82nd minute as Napoli’s youth star, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had a chance to get them back into the game with a penalty in the dying moments of the game. Kvara, who had an incredible outing again nonetheless was undone by a Maignan save as Milan held on right till the very end. A Victor Osimhen goal in stoppage time provided little to no hope as the game ended in a sobering 1-1 draw.
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Rafael Leao- 7.5
The 23 year old continued to impress with his immense pace and ability to hit teams on the break, assisting Giroud in Milan’s solitary goal of the game
Olivier Giroud- 7
A missed penalty in the early stage of the game but the veteran number 9 more than made up for it, giving Milan a 2 goal lead just before half-time
Mike Maignan- 9
3 fabulous saves inside the box and an immensely important penalty denied under pressure. Mike Maignan has all the markings to be one of the best in the world.
Alex Meret- 7.5
Allowing just one goal even when faced with an xGOT of 2.33, Meret put in a quality performance throughout the 90 minutes.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia- 7
Even after missing what could have been a game-changing penalty for Napoli, Kvara managed to have a relatively solid outing with 5 chances created and being a constant goal-scoring threat both from the flank and centrally.
Victor Osimhen- 8
A fantastic headed goal in the 93rd minute proved to be barely any consolation for Napoli. Osimhen continued his good form even through the draw and was the one bright spot in a disappointing performance from the team.
Man of the match- Mike Maignan
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