2017/2018 Italian Serie A
  • Lorenzo Insigne (33')
  • Piotr Zieliński (72')
  • Alessio Romagnoli (90'+1')

Napoli hold off Milan to move four points above Juventus atop Serie A


Napoli moved four points above Juventus at the top of Serie A after they recorded a 2-1 victory against AC Milan on Saturday night.

Lorenzo Insigne, controversially left on the substitutes' bench against Sweden as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup, opened the scoring after 33 minutes with his fourth strike in the league.

Piotr Zielinski then doubled Napoli's tally to put the victory out of reach for Milan before Alessio Romagnoli scored a consolation in stoppage time.

Napoli have been in scintillating form in Serie A this season -- dropping points on just two occasions this term -- with boss Maurizio Sarri making two changes for the visit of Milan to the Stadio San Paolo. Jose Reina and Allan replaced Luigi Sepe and Zielinski in the starting line-up. For the visitors, Mateo Musacchio, Giacomo Bonaventura and Manuel Locatelli were recalled by the under-fire Vincenzo Montella.

Napoli headed into Saturday's fixture unbeaten since February in the league, and somewhat predictably they started the game on the front foot. The breakthrough arrived just after the half-hour mark.

Insigne was played through by Jorginho, and the Italian coolly slotted past Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. The assistant referee raised his flag for offside, but after reverting to the video assistant referee, the goal was given.

It was more than the hosts deserved following a dominant opening period in which Insigne also hit the post in first-half stoppage time.

Napoli came out all guns blazing after the interval and Dries Mertens, following a neat one-two with Insigne, looked destined to bag a second for the Serie A leaders only to fire his shot straight at Donnarumma.

Milan began to see more of the ball, but failed to test Reina in the Napoli goal, and it was not long before Pole Zielinski increased the home side's lead

Moments after being introduced as a substitute, Zielinski found himself in acres of space in the left-hand channel following a fine pass from Mertens before he struck the ball past Donnarumma.

Napoli appeared on course to cruise to a comfortable three points only for centre-half Romagnoli to fire a fine volley past Reina in the 91st minute.

The visitors went in search of an unlikely point, but Napoli held firm to take the victory and widen their advantage over defending champions Juventus in search of their third Serie A title -- and first since 1990 -- while Milan, who have now lost all six matches against teams above them in the table, are 11 points off the top four and qualification for next season's Champions League.