AC Milan have regained the top spot in the Serie A table by beating former leaders Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday thanks to a goal by Olivier Giroud.
The win was AC Milan’s first win in 30 matches against Napoli and their first back-to-back win away to Napoli in 30 years in the Serie A.
The reverse fixture at the San Siro earlier in the season in December ended in a 1-0 victory for Napoli and now, Milan, who came into the match with the intention of exacting revenge for that controversial win, got their win to take them back to the top of the Serie A table.
The revenge was a sweet one as the Rossoneri reclaimed the top spot at the Serie A. They also inflicted what could be an irreversible damage to Napoli’s Scudetto hopes, following Inter Milan’s 5-0 demolition of Salernitana in the previous match day.
Giroud may have scored the decisive goal, but the Rossoneri will have Fikayo Tomori and his defensive solidity to thank as the Englishman played a pivotal role in keeping Napoli’s attackers, especially Victor Osimhen, at bay.
“We are happy with this victory, the dressing room is very happy. We have ten games to play. Tonight was a difficult game and we won, but we need to do more,” an excited Tomori said to DAZN after the game.
Giroud, however, was handed the man-of-the-match award for his decisive goal against Napoli. The World Cup winner shrugged off the ‘decisiveness’ of the goal when speaking to journalists in his post-match comments.
Speaking to DAZN after the match, the former Chelsea man praised his team for grabbing three points away at a hostile venue.
“It was three points that are worth a lot because it was a match against a Scudetto rival. It wasn’t decisive but it was important to win. We did very well with a lot of energy and motivation,” Giroud said.
“I don’t want to talk about the Scudetto but we hope to win something this year. We are ambitious and we will go until the end.
Milan Coach Stefano Pioli was as ecstatic as his striker, and praised his team for their solid display against the Partenopei.
He said: “Very important three points for the table and mostly because we beat a strong team. The boys worked a lot and then we were rewarded.”
Milan now sit at the top of Serie A with 60 points after 28 matches, two ahead of Inter and three ahead of Napoli. The Rossoneri are in line for their first Scudetto in over a decade and will be looking to end city rivals Inter’s push for a second successive title.
However, the Italian tactician was wary that the Nerazzurri do possess a game in hand and still maintained that his side was not there yet.
“The favourite is Inter, the ranking is still virtual. I’m sorry that there are games in hand to be played, it would be more correct if we were all playing the same games at this point in the season,” Pioli said.
Milan will try to retain their place at the Serie A summit next weekend when they take on bottom-half Empoli at home.