SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 21 - 26 Jan 2019 (19.30 UK)
Milan 0 - 0 Napoli
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Gianluigi Donnarumma and David Ospina made several crucial saves, but Milan and Napoli were unable to get a goal on Krzysztof Piatek’s debut, with Fabian Ruiz harshly sent off.

Carlo Ancelotti surprised by launching a new all-attack formation with Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Arkadiusz Milik and Jose Callejon together. Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly returned from a two-match ban, while Marek Hamsik was not fully fit. Krzysztof Piatek was on the bench just days after his transfer from Genoa, with Gonzalo Higuain going to Chelsea, with Cristian Zapata, Pepe Reina, Jack Bonaventura, Lucas Biglia and Mattia Caldara injured.

These two teams will meet again on Tuesday in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Having these stars together brought back some old moves, as Insigne floated a ball to the back post for Callejon’s volley, forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma into a tough one-handed save at the base of the upright.

At the other end, Lucas Paquetá delighted the crowd with a back-heel flick, then combined with Hakan Calhanoglu to send Cutrone through, hitting the side-netting. Alessio Romagnoli had the ball in the net from a corner, but play was already stopped for Cutrone’s push on Mario Rui.

Insigne curled one of his traditional efforts just wide of the far post and when the offside trap failed, Alessio Romagnoli made a decisive last-ditch interception on Koulibaly. Callejon and Paquetá fired wide from promising positions.

The tempo stepped up after the break, with Kevin Malcuit’s decisive deflection to turn a Franck Kessie attempt over from six yards on a lucky ricochet, then Paquetá fired straight at Ospina, but Napoli countered and a wayward Callejon cross clipped the crossbar.

Milik’s turn and shot from a Piotr Zielinski cross was powerful, but too close to Donnarumma, and Fabian Ruiz skimmed the woodwork from the edge of the box before a ferocious Zielinski volley stung the goalkeeper’s gloves.

Piatek made his Rossoneri debut, replacing Cutrone, and almost immediately scored when he controlled a through ball and forced Ospina to come flying out, crashing into teammate Koulibaly for the block. On the resulting corner, Ospina performed a desperate save on Mateo Musacchio’s volley from point-blank range.

Zielinski drilled just past the post and Napoli wasted a huge opportunity on the counter with four against two, Zielinski firing straight at Donnarumma.

Fabian Ruiz received a second yellow card in stoppages for handball, but replays show the ball hit him in the chest. Ancelotti swiftly followed for dissent.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bakayoko, Paquetá (Borini 68); Suso, Cutrone (Piatek 71), Calhanoglu (Laxalt 90)
Napoli: Ospina; Malcuit, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui (Ghoulam 71); Callejon, Fabian, Zielinski, Insigne (Ounas 88); Mertens (Verdi 80), Milik
Ref: Doveri

Sent off: Fabian 93 (N)