Napoli dropped vital points in the Serie A title race on Sunday, drawing 0-0 with AC Milan at the San Siro while Juventus beat Sampdoria to race six points clear. The result wasn’t ideal for the hosts either, as their chances of qualifying for the Champions League now look pretty slim.
Despite the goalless scoreline, the game was a frenetic, end-to-end affair, with both sides having their fair share of chances. A lack of clinical finishing stopped either side from claiming the spoils, leaving their fans howling with frustration for much of the game.
As always, the game provided us with a lot of talking points – so here’s four things we learned from the game:
4. Napoli’s Recent Inability to Score Early in Games Has Cost Them Dearly
Before Sunday afternoon’s game, Napoli produced dramatic late showings to get results in their previous three matches.
While drama is a wonderful thing, and it would have been a sight to behold if Arkadiusz Milik had scored late on against Milan, Napoli’s inability to kill games early on finally seems to have caught up with them.
With Juventus now six points clear at the top, Napoli have it all to do to stop Maxi Allegri’s side winning their seventh Serie A title on the bounce.
3. Milan are Finally Starting to Gel
AC Milan signed a wealth of exciting talent last summer – with a mixture of experienced veterans and up and coming young stars joining the club.
As is often the case – any enthusiastic player of Football Manager will concur – buying lots of great new players isn’t always the best idea to get success, and I Rossoneri struggled to find team cohesion for much of the season.
Under Gattuso, Milan seem to have finally gelled. While they certainly need a couple of signings in the summer, the club now have an excellent spine of players to develop and shouldn’t go for any more radical changes.
2. Pepe Reina Will be an Excellent Short Term Solution for I Rossoneri
If rumours – strong rumours at that – are to be believed, then it looks like Gianluigi Donnarumma is set for a San Siro exit this summer, with Pepe Reina taking his place.
Well, if Sunday’s outing was his audition, then he certainly passed with flying colours. The veteran stopper rolled back the years with a fine display – dominating in the air and bossing his penalty area with style.
While 35-year-old Reina is unlikely to have more than a couple of seasons left in him, he’s set to be a bargain signing and an excellent short term asset for Milan next season.
1. AC Milan May Have Found Their New Star Striker
Let’s be honest, Gerri Halliwel’s pre-match and half-time kick around gathered more warmth from the fans than summer signing Nikola Kalinić has received all season.
The former Spice Girl caused quite the stir with her impressive shooting skills on the hallowed San Siro turf, firing shot upon shot into the roof of the net with aplomb.
So tell me what you want, Milan. What you really, really want. Is it a 90s pop icon to lead the line next season? Yes, yes it is. Zig-ah-zig-aah.