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Milan 0, Napoli 0: Neutralized



For once, not getting three points was not a problem for me. Because Napoli. Granted, we played them while they were not at their best this season, but even still they are playing some of the best football in Serie A. And we matched them, kept a clean sheet, and earned some footballing respect. Poor Napoli were simply neutralized.
 
Superheroics

This was not a boring nil-nil match by any means. It was tense and exciting, with battles fought all over the pitch. There was actually a goal scored in the 39th – Musacchio sent in a rebound from a Calhanoglu screamer, only to see the goal called off (correctly) for offside. Hard not to think “what if” but scoring has been our nemesis all season, it wasn’t a shock that we couldn’t get one past them legitimately. I mean we all knew that poor Kalinic looks more like an extra defender for the opposition than a striker for us most of the time, it's heartbreaking.

But the man everyone has been talking about was Gigio Donnarumma. He did very well against his family’s team in November, but this night was something special. It was his 100th Serie A appearance, and in reaching that mark, he became the youngest player ever to do so. He didn’t let the fans down, either. He had quite a few great saves throughout the match, denying Napoli’s best. But in the 92nd minute, he made his save of the season, with lightning fast reflixes for a brilliant save on Milik to keep the game scoreless and give Milan a point.

Wait, what?!

The concerns about not having Bonucci or Romagnoli were mostly unfounded, barring tiny little mishaps like a misunderstanding between Gigio and Musacchio in the 34th. But generally, Musacchio and Zapata played very well. It is great to know that at least at one spot, we have depth. But even better that we were able to play against the heralded Napoli and come out even. Despite them having slightly more possession (57%,) we had 14 shots with two on target, compared to their 15 shots with four on target. I never would have believed earlier this year that we could have neutralized this Napoli team.


This post inspired by the music of Cigarettes after Sex


Our next match is
Serie A Week 34
Torino vs. Milan
Wednesday, April 18 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)