Milan hadn’t been in the Champions League semifinals since 2007. Sixteen long years the ‘Rossonera’ fans had to wait to get among the four best teams in Europe. In that season, with ‘Carletto’ Ancelotti in command, the ‘Orejona’ ended up in the San Siro showcases.
Giroud keeps Milan’s flame alive in this edition, despite missing a penalty, the Frenchman took advantage of a player from Leao for leave Napoli in the gutter. Partenopean despair, which only found solace in the addition with a header from Osimhen. ‘Kvaradona’, very discreet in the overflow, he had missed a maximum penalty with 0-1.
He supported the ‘Azzurra’ legion from the stands, hoisting the banners of his two legendary centurions Carlo Pedersoli (Bud Spencer) and Diego Armando Maradona. And the players responded. Neapolitan lynching of a Milan that gathered troops around Maignan. Kvaratskhelia and Politano, wingers with a changed leg, opened the field and drew diagonal lines to find a pass or shot with their favorite boot. The first quarter of an hour concocted by Luciano Spalletti, from the comeback manual, with the only mole in his aim.
The Lombards resisted and mutated quickly from behind to attack. Brahim, soft in the transition, and Rafael Leao, a broken steed, took the ‘rossoneri’ out of the crypt. The Portuguese, in his first approach, was knocked down by his compatriot Mário Rui and Marciniak aimed at eleven meters. Giroud took responsibility. Hard shot, with the left foot and slightly cornered to the right side. Meret, telepathic, saved the southerners. The Frenchman had converted 27 of the 28 penalties that he had executed in his careerand not missed one since 2012.
The historical maximum goleador of the ‘bleus’ he forgave again the 0-1 after a good cut, with Meret glorified by the sky-blue fans. But to the third, to the casserole. Leao picked up an error from Kvaratskhelia in the pass, headed towards the rival goal leaving corpses in his path and assisted for Giroud to redeem his sins by kneeling and looking up at the sky in celebration.
rash without fortune
Without Politano or Mário Rui, prematurely injured, and with Osimhen canceledit fell to Kvaratskhelia to take the lead. The Georgian filled up with the ball in the first minute of the second half, after having dribbled past the intense Calabria. The double coverage, first with Brahim and later with Messias, annulled the talented ‘Kvaradona’ and with him the aspirations of Napoli to continue making history in Europe.
Until Tomori’s hands appeared corroborated by the all-seeing room. Maradona woke up, but Maignan did not change and deprived Kvaratskleia of the tie. The Milanista ‘bolt’ was broken by Osimhen chasing a center from Raspadori. It was too late. The semifinals will return to the San Siro sixteen years later. Who knows if with a Lombard derby.
1 – Naples: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani (Ostigard, m.75), John Jesus, Mario Rui (Olivera, m.34); Ndombele (Elmas, m.63), Lobotka, Zielinski (Raspadori, m.75); Politano (Lausanne, m.34), Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen
1 – Milan: Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo; Krunic, Tone; Brahim Diaz (Messiah, m.59), Bennacer, Leao (Saelemaekers, m.84); Giroud (Origi, m.68).
Goals: 0-1, m.43: Giroud; 1-1, m.93: Osimhen
Referee: Symonsz Marciniak (POL). He showed a yellow card to Di Lorenzo (m.45), Olivera (m.93) by Napoli; and Theo (m.45), Maignan (m.46) by Milan.
Incidences: Match corresponding to the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League, played at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples (north).
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