AC Milan took an ‘extraordinary step’ in their journey by reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and Rafael Leao was key in both legs against Napoli.
As MilanNews write, the match in Naples – following a week of controversy and tension in the media after a feisty first leg – was very balanced as expected. The home side dominated possession but met an orderly and attentive Milan in the defensive phase, who were like a coiled spring ready to counter-attack
Leao provided Olivier Giroud with the easiest of chances to make up for his earlier saved penalty after a run that went for over 70 metres and saw the Portuguese winger get past three opponents, using his blistering yet at the same time sauntering dribble to go from his own half to the opposition box.
It’s clear that directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara will do everything to keep him with a renewal, but it’s the player himself who has pretty clear ideas.
“I’m happy to be here. It’s a pride to defend this shirt. Milan is my home. I still have one year on my contract. We’re talking… I want to stay, but there are other things to sort out,” he said after the game.
“The most important thing is that we’re in the semifinals, we’re having a great season and I’m happy to be here and continue to help my team.”
The former Lille man is a thorn in the side for any defence and with him on the pitch, Milan can really think of winning any game. Just a narrow corridor of space or a few yards of separation is what’s needed for him to spring into life.