Notes On A Costly 0-1 Loss Versus Napoli
A team with only four, yes four, regulars faced Napoli at the San Siro. Not that Napoli were all healthy either but Milan missed all of Kjaer, Romagnoli, Calabria, Bennacer, Rebic, Saelemaekers and Ibra.
Teams had a few half chances. Calhaoglu found the ball but failed in an attempt to curl the ball in. Piotr Zielinski found a gap between Tomori and Gabbia but did not shoot well enough to beat Donnarumma. Leao won the ball well from Nikola Maksimovic from a long ball but in the same sense as Calhanoglu didn’t find the target.
Zielinski came close again when poor play on the right allowed Napoli to get into Milan’s box. Following a long passing play Leao tested David Ospina with a hard shot but it was right that goalkeeper.
The 0-0 half time score was reflective of missed half chances and poor play by both sides. Milan’s wing play was next to nonexistent.
Napoli took the lead early in the second. Castillejo made a poor pass high on the right that was taken by Napoli, after a quick pass the ball found Matteo Politano on Milan’s left side and he was too open and had too much room to run at Milan’s goal. He managed to beat Donnarumma.
Naoli controlled the ball better and had another chance, courtesy of Fabian Ruiz, which Donnarumma saved and the rebound was shot wide.
A triple sub followed with Calahanoglu, Krunic and Castillejo coming off for Diaz, Rebic and Saelemaekers.
In the 65th minute Leao had a good chance to tap in a cross but failed to do so.
Kessie was withdrawn as well, for Meite.
A bad Giovanni Di Lorenzo foul on Hernandez led to a freekick that Tonali shot well, it was headed on by Rebic and punched out in a good Ospina reflex save.
The indifferent to poor play continued and Pioli made his final change bringing on Hauge for Leao.
Milan had a penalty claim which VAR checked and didn’t give, the replay showed minimal contact on Theo’s calf. Between the claim and VAR’s check Theo got a yellow for a disputed foul on Victor Omishen up the pitch.
In added time Rebic was shown a straight red, in what most assume was something he said to the referee.
There was some amount of controversy, especially in the final minutes but the loss was mainly on poor play and would easily be a costly one.