On Sunday, December 19th, 2021 Napoli jumped AC Milan into the 2nd – place spot in the Italian Serie A League as Napoli defeated their rival in AC Milan with a final tally of 1 to 0 in this unexceptional match from San Siro Stadium located in Milan, Italy last Sunday.
Eljif Elmas scored a very important goal for Napoli early on in this contest, and although AC Milan had an equalizing goal it just so happened to be controversially disallowed just before the end of the game. Franck Kessié’s potential match – tying goal score was technically called out during a video review as Olivier Giroud was said to be in an offsides position that was considered to be causing interference with play, even though the Rossoneri striker was on the ground and underneath a Napoli defender.
Napoli moved into the 2nd – place spot in the Italian Serie A League just above the now 3rd – place AC Milan due to the goal difference tie-breaker as both football clubs have the same record of 12 wins – 3 draws – 3 loses over the course of their 18 – games played so far this season.
Their head–to–head record will eventually be the 1st – tie-breaker, if necessary, come the end of the season. These 2 – clubs are presently only 4 – points behind defending champion of the Italian Serie A League in Inter Milan, who is the current winter champion with 1 – match to spare.
This latest 1 to 0 outcome for Napoli will continue to also function as a major confidence booster for them. Napoli had previously lost in back–to–back consecutive league contests, and they have only won just 1 of their last 6 – matches in the Italian Serie A League.
AC Milan and Napoli have previously been joint leaders out in Italy until just recently, before they were both hit with a massive heap of injuries which ultimately began to take their negative effects on these dominant football clubs. Both sides found themselves still quite rundown as they were heading into the top–of–the–table clash at the end of 2021.
However, Napoli began this match with a nearly perfect start as Elmas headed in a corner – kick by the near post sh he managed to escape from the AC Milan midfielder, Sandro Tonali.
AC Milan grappled hard in order to carve out solid opportunities in this game, and they did get close to an equalizing goal during the 34th – minute of play where Alessandro Florenzi’s smashing shot from long – distance flew just wide by the right post of the goal.
The home side of AC Milan seemed to improve just after the halftime break, but Zlatan Ibrahimović’s eventual 2nd – half scoring effort was pushed over the crossbar shortly after the 2nd – half of play resumed. Napoli held on for this very important victory even though it was not a brilliant match for either side last Sunday.
“In the end they will say that they applied the rules in the right way … but I say: ’How can a player who is on the ground interfere with the defense?” the head coach of AC Milan, Stefano Pioli, argued. “We’re disappointed, we’re disappointed to have lost this match. Now we’ll lick our wounds and then we’ll go again.”
“We should be really proud of this win. We showed real personality and we made Milan really suffer, which is a big deal,” the midfielder for Napoli Piotr Zieliński explained. “We’re up near the top fighting hard and we won’t give up. We’ll fight until the bitter end to win the title.”
Matar, Daniella. “Napoli leapfrogs Milan into 2nd place in Serie A”. The Associated Press. December 19, 2021.
“Italian Serie A Table 2021 – 22”. ESPN. December 21, 2021.