AC Milan – Napoli: Clinical Napoli Win Against Wasteful Milan (1-2)
In a hard-fought match, Milan rued their chances, perhaps losing undeservedly for the first time this season. On the other hand, Napoli showed desire and spirit, coming out with a win which renews their beliefs in Luciano Spalletti’s ideas and keeps their favorable momentum going.
Tactical analysis and match report written by Giovanni Cesaroni.
Title holders AC Milan hosted one of their main competitors, Napoli, to finish a matchday in which all the top six teams faced off in games between each other. After Internazionale fell away against surprising Udinese in the lunch match and Atalanta walked off Stadio Olimpico with three points in the bag against Roma, it was finally time for the most exciting clash of this matchday in a packed San Siro.
Coming from positive results in their respective Champions League fixtures and still unbeaten in the season, both teams were deprived of their shiniest stars: Milan were missing Rafael Leão, sent off in the last match against Sampdoria, Napoli had their notable absence in striker Victor Osimhen, with the Nigerian still out with a muscular injury.
Therefore, the pre-match doubts for Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti, revolved around the potential replacements for their missing stars. Pioli decided to go for his classic 4-2-3-1 formation, replacing Leão with the multi-tasking skills of Rade Krunić and counting on the in-form Alexis Saelemaekers on the right side. Simon Kjaer also won a place in the starting eleven with Pierre Kalulu dropping to the bench. Up front, Olivier Giroud led . . .