AC MILAN ARE THROUGH TO THE SEMI-FINALS OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AFTER A BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE AT THE HOME OF THE RUNWAY SERIE A LEADERS.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Facing a one-goal deficit from the first leg, hosts Napoli knew that they needed to score and came out of the block sharply to put Milan under pressure. Luciano Spalletti’s side managed a few half chances, but it was Milan who made the first real impact.
Rafael Leao’s quick feet in the Napoli box won his side a penalty, but Olivier Giroud’s spot kick was palmed wide by Alex Meret.
However, the duo combined again within minutes. Leao’s powerful running finding him one-on-one with Meret and the Portuguese forward slid the ball to Giroud for a simple finish.
Napoli began the second half knowing that they needed two goals to save their European campaign but became increasingly ponderous in possession.
Milan appeared to be closing the game out expertly when a freak handball, probably fairly given, against Fikayo Tomori presented Napoli with a glorious chance with ten minutes remaining. Kvaratskhelia stepped up and saw hispenalty saved by the impressive Mike Maignan in the Milan goal.
Victor Osimhen pulled one backin the 93rd minute but it was too little to late for the hosts, who fell to a 2-1 aggregate defeat.
For Milan it was a glorious night and a return to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2006/07, the year they were last crowned European champions.
Elite company for tonight’s stoppers
Even in the high-pressure evironment of a Champions League quarter-final, it’s pretty rare for goalkeepers to save two spot kicks in a single game. The last time it happened was in 2016, when Bayern Munich met Atletico Madrid.
The keepers that day? Manual Neur and Jan Oblak.
Napoli struggle against Milan
For the third time this month Napoli have faced AC Milan, and for the third time they leave empty-handed. Here’s how those games have played out.
2nd April: Napoli 0-4 AC Milan
12th April: AC Milan 1-0 Napoli
18th April: Napoli 1-1 AC Milan
A late header from Victor Osimhen may have secured a draw on the night but it wasn’t enough to extend Napoli’s stay in the Champions League.
AC Milan back at the top table
After a 16-year absence, AC Milan are back at the top table of European football. For this season, at least.
The Rossoneri equal Juventus’ Italian record of seven appearances in the final four of the Champions League. Mike Maignan played a crucial role in their victory tonight with a number of big stops and a late penalty save.
Napoli will go on to win Serie A this season, but it is AC Milan who continue in the Champions League.
Defensive masterclass from AC Milan
That’s how you do it! Pioli’s side progress to the semi-finals with an astonishing 26% of the possession at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Here’s the story of the game, from our friends at Sofascore.
Confirmed! AC Milan progress
There we are, despite the late goal AC Milan are through to the semi-finals of the Champions League!
The seven-time European champions reach the final four for the first time since 2006/07, when they last won the famous trophy.
LUCIANO SPALLETTI: OSIMHEN’S BOSS MAKES ADMISSION FOLLOWING NAPOLI’S LOSS TO AC MILAN
Napoli have been eliminated from the Champions League competition following a draw at the Diego Maradona Stadium
Napoli boss, Luciano Spalletti, has made some admissions following his team’s exit from the UEFA Champions League competition.
After this, the manager revealed that his team were naive during the game, and their key attacker, Victor Osimhen, could not have in-depth training with the squad before the match.
Olivier Giroud missed his first attempt to hand the Milan outfit the lead in the opening minutes after Rafael Leao was brought down inside the box.
But, less than 15 minutes from then, the Portuguese international sent in a good pass to Giroud, who then fired it past Alex Meret.
A few minutes before the game’s end, Osimhen proved his worth in the team again as he pulled one back, but it was not enough to send Napoli through to the Semis.
Following this, Spalletti hailed Milan in the Post-match conference for capitalising on their opportunities to secure a victory.
“We were a little naive. Even Osimhen struggled, but he trained for three days, and when you’re close to the game, you don’t do training where you raise pressure-building and the open field raids. Those are the coaching things. We arrived with some not trained at their best and some problems from the national teams, but it is not an excuse for the result. The performance has been there. What are you going to tell him? The verdict is accepted. You have to be fair. The boys played a great game, non-stop, trying to do what they had to do. Milan then won deservedly because they capitalised on the chances. Good for both of them.” He said, as quoted by Tutto Napoli.
Inter Milan, having defeated Benfica in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals with a score of 2 goals to nil, is likely to face AC Milan in Semi-final.