Ismael Bennacer’s first-half goal was enough to give AC Milan a first-leg advantage over their Italian rivals Napoli in the Champions League quarter-finals round.
Even though the Naples had all the chances, Bennacer’s goal from the counterattack was virtually enough to send the Napoli back home with worries.
Napoli’s first attempt came in the first minute with a Zambo Anguissa ‘s shot that went wide.
Napoli’s Kvaratskhelia made an attempt minutes later, firing a mighty shot that was parried behind for a corner kick.
The Napoli winger had been the main threat for the Naples at San Siro. Napoli made their first attempt on goal, with Piotr Zieliski forcing AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan into a save.
After total dominance by Napoli in the first 27 minutes, Rafael Leao burst Napoli’s defense open with quick dribbles and pace, but his effort went wide.
AC Milan got its first goal in the 40th minute with their first shot on target.
The goal came from a counterattack with Brahimi Diaz playing a long ball to Leao.
The Portuguese winger cleverly put the ball on the left side, where Ismael Bennacer put the ball into Napoli’s net. It was an exceptional finish from AC Milan’s attack.
In the additional minutes of the first half, Olivier Giroud created a chance for his teammates Tonali, but his attempt went far away from the Napoli goal post.
It could have been two for AC Milan, but a Simon Kjaer header crashed against the Napoli goal post.
Napoli Elif Elmas had a chance to equalize with a beautiful header, but Maignan uncomfortably pushed the ball over the net.
Elmas created a chance for Anguissa, but his shot from 20 yards couldn’t get past AC Milan goalkeeper Maignan.
Anguissa was sent off in the 74th minute for his harsh tackle on Theo Hernandez. He was initially given a yellow card, but after a VAR review, a straight red card was issued.
The last attempt on goal came from Leao, whose shot went directly to Napoli goalkeeper Meret. With this result, there is still more to play for at the Diego Maradona Stadium.
There is all to play for in the second leg, but without the presence of top scorer Victor Osimhen, it will be difficult for Napoli to overturn the 1-0 deficit.
What Next For AC Milan And Napoli
AC Milan will travel to Bologna for a Serie A encounter on April 15, 2023, at 2:00 pm.
The club’s form in Serie A has been poor, and they need to start winning matches in order to have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Verona will travel to play League leaders Napoli at Diego Maradona Stadium on April 15, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
It is likely to be an easy match for Napoli, who have all their eyes glued on the Scudetto this season.