Giacomo Bonaventura’s scorcher earned Milan a point, but Napoli had more possession and scoring opportunities at San Siro in a draw that pleases nobody.
These were the two sides whose tallies were worse off compared to last season, as Napoli were on 19 points (28 by this stage in 2018-19) and Milan 13 (21). The Rossoneri were scrabbling in the bottom half of the table after losing three of their previous four games, with Hakan Calhanoglu and Ismael Bennacer suspended. Suso pulled out in the warm-up, so with Samu Castillejo, Fabio Borini, Leo Duarte and Ricardo Rodriguez injured, Ante Rebic stepped in.
The Partenopei were tearing themselves apart after the squad refused to go into a training retreat, prompting the club to order a press silence and threaten huge fines. Arkadiusz Milik, Mario Rui, Faouzi Ghoulam and Kevin Malcuit were injured, but Lorenzo Insigne was returned to a forward role rather than on the left wing.
It was a very aggressive start from the hosts and Alex Meret got his fingertips to a Rebic cross, taking it away from Jack Bonaventura sliding in at the back post.
Alessio Romagnoli’s header from a corner was straight at Meret, but it was Napoli who took the lead with their first genuine foray forward.
Insigne’s curler from the D bounced off the crossbar and Chucky Lozano was quickest to react, nodding in the rebound at the near post.
However, it lasted for only five minutes, as Jack Bonaventura hit a screamer into the far top corner from the edge of the box and there was little Meret could do about it. This was his first Serie A goal since October 2018 and marked the end of the injury nightmare.
Napoli should’ve gone 2-1 up moments later, but Jose Callejon fired wide after Lucas Paqueta’s poor midfield pass sparked the counter.
Elseid Hysaj was fortunate not to score a bizarre own goal, as he fell on to a low Theo Hernandez cross from the left and could only watch as the ball dribbled millimetres past the post.
Rade Krunic showed great vision to spot the Rebic run at the back post, but the Croatian misjudged the flight of the pass and scuffed his header wide.
Insigne thought he’d scored on the stroke of half-time when the offside trap failed, but Gianluigi Donnarumma rushed off his line to block the finish with his legs, one-on-one.
Rebic had a knock to the knee in the first half and made way for Franck Kessie during the break. Kalidou Koulibaly’s overhead kick from a corner was not far off target at all, while Insigne wasted a promising chance by turning wide at the near post.
Mateo Musacchio had to make a perfect sliding tackle on Lozano as the Mexico international was sprinting into the penalty area, but Insigne went off following a knock to the elbow.
Eljif Elmas completely wasted a great chance after Lucas Biglia’s error sent him clear, as he tried to draw a foul from Donnarumma and was instead quite rightly booked for simulation.
Theo Hernandez managed to excellent pull-backs from the left in the space of three minutes, but both times Koulibaly was there to clean up, above all with his block on Piatek’s tap-in.
Allan tested Donnarumma both at the near post and with a volley from the edge of the area.
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