AC Milan 1-2 Napoli: Simeone winner gives the Partenopei three points

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan lost their first Serie A game in nine months as they were beaten 2-1 by Napoli at San Siro on Sunday night.

All three goals came in the second half as Napoli got their noses in front via a penalty that was awarded after a VAR review, with Matteo Politano scoring despite Mike Maignan guessing the right way.

Olivier Giroud popped up with another big goal to set up a grandstand finish with an equaliser, but it was Giovanni Simeone who ended up getting the winning goal for the Partenopei in the final 20 minutes of the game.

The result means Luciano Spalletti’s men have inflicted yet another one-goal defeat on Milan at San Siro and they move three points ahead along with Atalanta.

Stefano Pioli made a number of changes to the starting line-up as Simon Kjaer, Junior Messias, Charles De Ketelaere and Rade Krunic all came into the side following the midweek win over Dinamo Zagreb, with Rafael Leao of course out suspended.

There first flashpoint came inside the opening couple of minutes as Kvaratskhelia tried to burst past Kjaer down Napoli’s left wing but went to the floor clutching his face having overrun the ball claiming he got an arm in the face, though no foul was given.

Milan saw more of the ball in the early exchanges and the first half-chance fell to the big game man Olivier Giroud. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box where Theo Hernandez then fired it back into the danger area and his compatriot fired wide from deep inside the box first time.

Moments later it was Theo who again caused some problems, this time receiving a feed near the byline from Krunic and firing the ball across goal but De Ketelaere couldn’t quite stretch to meet it for a tap-in, though Giroud was also free for a cut-back that might have been a better choice.

Giroud continued to be at the heart of Milan’s opportunities, and he would have hoped to do better in the 12th minute when he flicked over a lovely cross from Tonali on the left. Moments later Alex Meret made his first big save when the 35-year-old striker was found inside the box and fired towards the top corner, but it was tipped onto the bar excellently.

All of the threat continued to come down Milan’s left as Giroud again headed over from a Theo cross, and then De Ketelaere turned supplier for the veteran striker but he acrobatically volleyed off target when Calabria might have been in a better position behind him to fire in.

Meret was again called into action as a corner from Milan’s right side went all the way to the far post where Krunic was waiting, though the Italian keeper was on hand to palm over the bar again and keep the Rossoneri frustrated.

Kvaratskhelia was the danger man highlighted for the away side with four goals already this season in the league, and his quick turns caused plenty of issues for Calabria and Kjaer who each went into the book in the first half.

The bookings caused Pioli to make a double change at half-time as he brought on both Pierre Kalulu and Sergino Dest to replace Kjaer and Calabria.

Kvaratskhelia continued to be at the centre of attention as he threw himself to the ground after being tackled by Dest inside the box. After a long VAR review, the referee Mariani decided to award a spot kick having adjudged the full-back to have kicked the Georgian’s foot. Mike Maignan guessed the right way, but the ball passed under his armpit as Matteo Politano scored from 12 yards.

Milan went in search of an equaliser and piled on the pressure, but up at the other end it was Zielinski who dragged a shot wide from around 20 yards out when he should have tested Maignan.

More changes came for Milan with 25 minutes left as Junior Messias and Brahim Diaz came on in place of Saelemaekers and Krunic.

Meret added another good save to his list from the game as he dived low to his right hand side to deny the substitute Messias whose sweeping first time shot from a De Ketelaere pass was heading inside the far post.

Theo Hernandez and Giroud had threatened to combine for a goal on so many occasions in the first half, and with just over 20 minutes left they did indeed combine for the equaliser. The full-back made one of his typical direct runs to the byline and cut back a perfect low ball to his compatriot who fired home first time with Meret this time stranded.

However, parity would not last long as Napoli got themselves back in front with just over 12 minutes left on the clock. An excellent cross from Mario Rui on the left flank was met by the head of Giovanni Simeone who scored with his first meaningful touch, glancing in with a deft header.

A final change came for the Rossoneri inside the final ten minutes with Yacine Adli coming on for De Ketelaere.

Milan were inches away from levelling the game for a second time via an unlikely source. Theo Hernandez rolled a ball into the box that Giroud got a slight touch on through to Kalulu, who hit the crossbar from deep inside the area when he really had to score.

The Diavolo caused chaos late on as they launched ball after ball into the box and had a flurry of late corners, but it just wasn’t to be as Milan lost their first league game since January.

Tags AC Milan Milan Napoli


    1. Exactly! FFS! Dest was indescribably awful.

      Look how Calabria destroyed Kvaradona in 29th minute. That’s how you defend on 1vs1! Not how Dest did it…

    2. Yeah. Calabria really played well and while sometimes he did mistakes but the criticism for him feels overly exaggerated.

      Still, Dest is a young player and he can learn and improves his performance from his mistakes.

    3. Can’t be too harsh on Dest for the penalty as it was a tackle where a split second makes a difference. I will say though that he was otherwise completely ineffective the entire time he was on the pitch and to me confirmed what I had suspected before that he is nothing special – at best a reserve player off the bench.

      Aside from one shot, Messias was the most disappointing player on the pitch. Managed to get into good positions but lost possession too often and mishit the ball more often than not.

      Expected more from CDK but he had little of the ball so cannot blame him for that.

      Brahimi looked lovely again though it is a pity he tries to do too much on his own and doesn’t pass more often.

  1. Once again, never been a fan of Pierre-Fik duo. Tomori doesn’t look like his usual self lately. Oh and we need someone like Anguissa.

      1. He clearly lost Simeone. Previously vs Dinamo he left an empty unmarked room for a goal. On the league we have conceeded 8. Even Fiorentina, Empoli, Udinese conceeds less. Looking on how we defended last season, something surely isn’t working properly.

  2. Overall I think we played better created alot more chances, just don’t understand why pioli took off calabria. Him and giroud were the best players at that point.

  3. Penalty or not, Dest sucks so far. Shows nothing in either direction. Adli looked really hungry when he came in and not afraid like CDK. Time for Pioli to give Adli a serious chance. Wouldn’t mind Krunic starting as a 10 either. Rotate CDK until he is ready to be dominant consistently.

    1. Absolutely! Adli has the hunger and meanness to play football at any level.
      I keep wondering why Pioli isn’t giving him the chance to prove himself. I see huge potential in him.

  4. Did you guys see Tonali in the second half? I didn’t. Did he come off? I saw someone who looks like him take a few corners but that’s it. I never really saw anyone in midfield working except for Bennacer. Hmm, interesting. Oh well, he’ll probably still get a 7 or something on this site.

    Garbage performance. Messias should still be delivering pizzas. Tomori has regressed this season. We have no depth going forward or on the right. Krunic had no business starting the game, the guy is out for weeks and only just returned to fitness and Pioli puts him up against one of the strongest teams, and out of position, to boot. His rubbish tactics cost us again today.

    As rubbish as Inter and Juve are right now, they would’ve managed to salvage something out of this game. We are toothless, by comparison.

    1. are you ok in the head? Barring Dest’s idiocy and if we didnt hit the bar twice we’d have won this easily

      stop trying to make it out as if Milan got dominated and lost, it wasnt even anywhere close to like that.

      Also get your eyes checked out

      1. There is always someone who pretend to watch the match and comment like Milan were playing so bad. Ignored it, we know Milan deserved to win. It is just unlucky for us, and THAT is happend in football on the pitch. Yeah maybe in career mode he can just restart the match :))

        1. Deserved to win? We missed some good chances, yes, but we were outfoxed by a team and a manager that was tactically set up much better than us. They took their chances and played the way they were supposed and we didn’t, because when Leao is not playing, our attack is toothless. Our most dangerous player in attack literally out left-back. Without Theo and Giroud, we wouldn’t have created a single chance.

          Nothing worse than delusional fans.

      2. I didn’t say we were dominated. I said we were poor, though, and Napoli deserved to win, as literally every commentator and pundit has already said. Don’t be a delusional fan, be objective. Without Leao, out attack sucks. We didn’t strengthen in the positions we needed to such as attack and right wing, so no we’re seeing the fruits of that.

    2. “As rubbish as Inter and Juve are right now, they would’ve managed to salvage something out of this game”

      Are you trolling?

      Juve lost to Monza who sit at the bottom of the table. And Inter got bodied 3-1 by Udinese, the team who we beat 4-2.

      Inter and Juve fans would dream to have Milan performance right now.

      1. Inter were garbage against Torino and Lecce and they still squeezed out the three points. We were garbage tonight and we lost. We are better than Inter and Juve now, absolutely, but they wouldn’t have let this game get away from them the way we have. We’re sorely lacking quality in the attacking positions, and it showed tonight.

        1. “Inter were garbage against Torino and Lecce”

          Are you serious comparing Torino and Lecce with Napoli?

          And so what are your excuses with Inter and Juve plays like garbage against Udinese and Monza and they still lost.

          You’re not making any sense here troll.

          “We were garbage tonight and we lost”

          No we’re not. You definitely watched Inter or Juve and salty when they lost. Now you’re here looking like clueless troll.

  5. What a pitty this was. Hitting the crossbar twice.. and their goalkeeper made some nice saves as well. We had our chances. Good game from both sides.
    I had some bad feelings when I saw Dest instead of Calabria..

  6. How about everyone just STFUs about Dest being better than Calabria. We had everything under control until the Barca-reject came on and ruined the match. I believe we’ve finally found someone who is even worse RB than De Sciglio was. FFS.

  7. Heartbreaking loss.
    Milan was the better side.
    Created a ton of chances, but they weren’t good enough to convert them.
    Napoli outside of the 2 incidents that led to their goals didn’t do anything.
    Proud of the boys for how they played without Rebic , Origi, Leao, they should have won this game.
    Ahhhhh this one going to be painful for 2 weeks. Worst time to have a break

    1. Agreed with you 🤝

      Napoli two goals was born from Dest and Tomori errors. But overall Milan dominates.

      The boys can still fix and improve their performance 🤝

  8. Valiant. A valiant effort.
    Napoli are not a better team than us based on what I saw, and with that I can sleep better.
    The tempo and venom those boys played with made me proud tonight.
    We were always going to lose our first game, better now that it’s early and we can regroup.
    This team can go far guys, renewing the important players and just a few reinforcements here and there, with Pioli at the wheel, and we’ve got ourselves a team for the next 6+years.
    No need to panic, we can seriously even top our champions league group if we play like tonight I believe. Just need the injuries to subside.
    Napoli will implode again don’t worry.
    We just need to focus on ourselves that’s all.
    Forza Milan

  9. Milan played really well and could win the game with plenty of chances. Kalulu could score the last one but it’s unfortunate the ball hit the bar.

    Sadly two errors from Dest and Tomori cost us.

    But i like the players mentality to keeps trying.

  10. Calabria was on risk of receiving another yellow. These things happen in football. We should learn and improve from here. Maybe we need to be a bit more clinical in the final third.

  11. What a match, incredible, intense, but very unlucky for us. Also credit for meret with his 3 brilliant saves. Season is still long, we don’t have to win every match to win scudetto. Anyway, when did the last time I see CDK shot? As a trequartista he rarely (or never) make shot on goal

  12. I don’t understand those who criticize the team. There were mistakes, yes, but Milan were the better team. Disappointing, but that’s football. See how Roma lost to Atalanta despite making more than 10 shots and allowing just 1. Last year in some matches Milan played badly and still got a draw or even a win, and this time it’s just the other way around.

    1. No need to criticize the team but there’s a couple of individuals who lost the game for us. Dest was the main reason. Too bad that one player managed to ruin it for us. Excluding two attacks the game was 100% under control and Milan was far better team. But it’s all about the goals and Napoli scored more so…

  13. Pioli is so addicted with Krunic and Saelemaekers. Why he did not start Adli instead of Krunic? Why did he sub Calabria by Dest? Stupidity.

    1. I’m not a fan of Krunic but one still has to accept that he played surprisingly well. He was one of the positive players yesterday and didn’t really do anything wrong.

      Adli had attitude which CDK is missing. If CDK had similar attitude he might do better. More minutes for Adli needed/deserved.

  14. Hate to say it but this one is on Pioli. We were dominating first half. Got the subs wrong. I understand taking out Calabria (who was doing a masterful job on Krava) – but on a yellow – and marking the dangerous and fast Krava – I get it – but taking out Kajer was terrible. Kajer is very experienced and can play on a yellow. Many CB’s do. Should have put in Kalulu for Calabria and not Dest who was awful, gave up the PL and did nothing going forward. CDK was also poor and Pioli waited too long to sub him. I’m afraid we are gonna burn CDK out – too much is expected of this kid and pressure is getting to him. M&M said we are set at RW?? LOL. Another horrible performance offering nothing. Bennacer is a beast – we cannot lose him. He’s worth 4m easy – him and Tonali did all they could. Theo too. Tomori should have found Simone on that goal. With no Leao we really struggled in second half. Again those subs killed us and let Napoli in the game. Need to regroup and hopefully after break we can recover Rebic and Origi. Giroud cannot play all the games.

    1. I agree with you on the subs. I was expecting Pioli to take out Calabria for Kalulu and maybe later in the game to bring Dest for Kjaer if Milan needed to play more offensive.
      The yellow cards in the 1st half changed the whole game.

  15. Not a Bad display, the boys play well, and stood up when they were a goal down. We move from here. Better days ahead

    There’s no Leao to castigate today, Leao gets criticized when we win…. So who will the critics pick on today, I wonder?

    1. “There’s no Leao to castigate today, Leao gets criticized when we win…. So who will the critics pick on today, I wonder?”

      The one who deserves it. Just like always.

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