MILAN 1 Inzaghi 26
NAPOLI 1 Campagnaro 13
Milan had wasted the opportunity to top the table after city rivals Inter drew against Palermo. Milan were temporarily boosted by the return of youngster Alexandre Pato, so you’d think but he was often shoved off the ball fairly easily and struggled throughout the 15 minutes of his game. So it was no surprise when the Brazilian went off after and was replaced by Amantino Mancini. The Rossoneri also had to deal with the fact that they will be without defender Alessandro Nesta and Daniel Bonera for the rest of the season, which meant that they experimented with a three man defence for this afternoon’s game.
The opening half consisted of attacks from Napoli, who seemed the more enthusiastic side and were duly rewarded for that enthusiasm when on the 13th minute Hugo Campagnaro scored after an embarrassing mistake by the Milan defence. There was a lack of communication from Massimo Oddo and the keeper as they clashed into each other and giving Campagnaro the chance to score into an empty net.
This just goes to show that players who do not play with each other regularly will be prone to these moments of miscommunication. To Milan’s relief this mistake didn’t cost them the game when on the 26th minute Filippo Inzaghi got the equalizer. This was a rare start for the veteran striker who surprised everyone and stayed on for the full 90 minutes. “SuperPippo” used all his long years of experience to get away from his marker and attack a sweeping cross from Ronaldinho and keeping things level.
The second half saw the Rossoneri attacking as soon as they got out, it seemed like they needed the first 45 minutes just to stretch their legs. This is the major weakness for Milan and Napoli were unlucky not to be 2 goals up before half- time. Andrea Pirlo had a free- kick a minute after the re start and even though it was nicely struck, it was straight Morgon De Sanctis and he made a relatively comfortable save. On the 52nd minute Thiago Silva made a great run and it was almost a perfect counter attack for the Rossoneri, but Silva didn’t anticipate that he was too fast for his teammates and didn’t have the strength to hold the ball up and Napoli had the simple task of relieving the ball from Silva and had a great chance to start a great counter of their own.
The notion that this could be Milan’s greatest chance to leapfrog city rivals and take top spot started to dawn on them as they committed more bodies forward, but this had the nasty side affect of leaving them open to the fast counter attacks by Napoli. On the 79th minute Leonardo went for broke, as he took off Clarence Seedorf and replaced him with Dutch striker Klass Jan Huntelaar as a fourth striker.
In the end it all ended square and Milan remains one point behind the Nerazzurri and Napoli get a much deserved point to put them in joint seventh.