Krzysztof Piatek made the perfect full Milan debut with a brace to beat Napoli 2-0, sending them into the Coppa Italia semi-finals against Inter or Lazio.
Piatek was given his first start, having made his Rossoneri debut in a 0-0 draw with Napoli in Serie A on Saturday evening, but Cristian Zapata, Pepe Reina, Lucas Biglia and Jack Bonaventura were injured. The Partenopei had Allan back after transfer speculation with PSG, but Marek Hamsik was still only fit for the bench, with Dries Mertens, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon rested.
This was the 16th Coppa Italia encounter between the clubs and Milan’s last victory over Napoli in this tournament was 2-0 in December 2014, followed by three stalemates and six losses.
Piatek immediately made a good impression, volleying wide from the edge of the box, but moments later Nikola Maksimovic allowed a long Diego Laxalt ball to bounce and the Pole showed no mercy. He pounced, ran into the box and side-footed into the far bottom corner from 14 yards. It was his first goal in the Rossoneri jersey since his €35m move from Genoa.
Lorenzo Insigne replied, forcing a couple of saves out of Gianluigi Donnarumma, but Piatek proved he is absolutely lethal. He chested down the ball, cut inside Kalidou Koulibaly and curled his right-foot finish into that same far bottom corner.
That means in his first 46 minutes of football in a Milan jersey, Piatek scored more goals than Gonzalo Higuain in his last 12 games for the club. He also has 21 goals in 23 competitive matches this season, including eight in just three Coppa Italia ties.
Insigne was the only one with any Napoli chances, but drilled off target, while Piatek got Kevin Malcuit and Koulibaly booked. Adam Ounas replaced Allan for the second half and Arkadiusz Milik almost got one back with a desperate goalmouth scramble charged down by Alessio Romagnoli.
Donnarumma had to punch an in-swinging Faouzi Ghoulam corner out from under the crossbar, then had his gloves stung by a viciously swerving Ounas strike.
Milik just failed to get on the end of a dangerous free kick as it flashed across the face of goal, as the Partenopei again failed to turn possession into chances. Piotr Zielinski's scorcher flashing just wide was the last kick of the game.
Milan 2-0 Napoli
Piatek 10, 27 (M)
Milan: G Donnarumma; Abate, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Laxalt; Kessie, Bakayoko, Paquetà (Rodriguez 85); Castillejo, Piatek (Cutrone 79), Borini (Calhanoglu 60)
Napoli: Meret; Malcuit (Callejon 85), Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Fabian Ruiz, Allan (Ounas 46), Diawara (Mertens 57), Zielinski; Insigne, Milik