Serie A | Milan 0-1 Napoli: Elmas and VAR wreck Rossoneri

by | Dec 19, 2021 21:40

Napoli are right back in the title race after Eljif Elmas grabbed victory at San Siro, but Milan were furious after a very controversial last-minute disallowed goal, as Inter are confirmed Winter Champions.

Watch the highlights here.

Serie A Highlights: Milan 0-1 Napoli

This was a Scudetto showdown between second and fourth, who risked falling further behind new leaders Inter. They had been joint leaders until recently, when injuries began to take their toll.

Theo Hernandez pulled out with flu symptoms, joining injured Ante Rebic, Simon Kjaer, Rafael Leao, Davide Calabria, Pietro Pellegri and Alessandro Plizzari. The Partenopei made the trip without Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly, Victor Osimhen and Fabian Ruiz, while Kostas Manolas signed for Olympiakos this week, but surprisingly picked Andrea Petagna rather than Dries Mertens.

It was a strong start from the visitors and they took the lead when Piotr Zielinski’s corner found an Eljif Elmas header down at the near post, as he got away from Sandro Tonali.

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Milan took a while to get into gear, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s glancing header on a Fode Ballo-Toure cross skimmed the far post, as did an Alessandro Florenzi rocket on the half-volley.

Chucky Lozano had a double attempt charged down after his chest and turn to get away from Ballo-Toure.

The hosts improved after the restart, Ibrahimovic’s shot on the half-volley flying in at the near top corner from a tight angle until David Ospina made a fantastic one-handed save.

Fikayo Tomori got back for a sliding tackle on Petagna following an initial error, repeating it with an interception on Kevin Malcuit’s low cross from the right.

Messias surged forward, cut inside and unleashed a left-foot scorcher that was just wide of the far top corner, while Olivier Giroud nodded over and Ibrahimovic failed to make the most of a Zambo Anguissa sliced clearance, but Ospina was barely tested.

Milan did get the ball in the net at the 90th minute when Giroud knocked down a cross, there were several efforts charged down and Kessie swept in from 12 yards. However, the goal was disallowed when VAR alerted the referee to Giroud in an offside position, which was considered active despite the fact he was lying on the ground underneath a Napoli defender.

It was the second huge debate on active and passive offside after AtalantaRoma on Saturday.

Milan 0-1 Napoli

Elmas 5 (N)


  1. Angelo

    Not a good performance from Milan. Napoli had no Koulibaly and Ospina had a quiet night not even tested. Inter are easily winning the league and it will be more comfortable then last year. I can see them winning early and by double digits. When you have no competition and just 3 chokers behind you there is no need to even hit 4 or 5 goals in a game. The teams below will just run out of gas and implode. Laughable to think Milan could challenge for the title without strengthening the team. Come on Messias and Giroud are not taking you a step up. Hakan was absolutely correct in leaving when you get more money, better players around you and to win something meaningful. Men vs boys.

  2. Bruno

    If you are referring to previous seasons Angelo, when using the “chokers” label, then fair enough. But this season there are extenuating circumstances. Napoli and Milan have had a nightmare with injuries. If Inter lost Skriniar (Koulibaly), Barella (Anguisa), Brozovic (Ruiz), Lautaro (Mertens), Dzeko (Osimhen) for long spells they they would also drop points and lose momentum. While Inter are starting to look like strong favourites, this could change if they encounter similar injury problems. We are only half way. And don’t forget that despite their issues, Napoli and Milan are still within 4 points, and Milan no longer have the distraction of European football.

  3. Angelo

    @Bruno firstly I am not an Inter fan but one has to be objective. Inter are smashing teams that Milan cannot. They are also winning games against direct opponents and are the most consistent. Inter have the deepest squad and the most quality. CL could distract and tire them but I cannot see them getting past Liverpool. However I would not rule them out as football is a strange game. As for Milan they did not threaten Ospina all game long. When you have Diaz, Krunic, Alexis, Kessie, Bennacer and others you can only go so far. I have said this before Milan needs to buy a couple of experienced world class players if they are going to make the step up. I get it that money is tight, but you have to speculate to accumulate. In business you need to sometimes take a risk to get maximum rewards. The Arsenal project will only take a club so far.

  4. Asian Fans

    Injury problems is coach fault, some injury like muscular injury can be avoided by training. And it’s a coach job and Inzaghi staff did better than anyone else

  5. Solointer

    The claim that Inter don’t get injuries is actually incorrect. The difference is it doesn’t happen as often as others. For Napoli they went on a run with the same players without rotation at all making the risk of injuries higher to important players. The same can be said to Milan who also have injury prone players as their game changer. Any coach who depends on Ibra to win something is simply delusional as the guy can not even stay fit. Milan have adopted to cross the ball and hope for the best tactic in which Inter did a couple years ago when Icardi was still around and that tactic won’t win you anything.

  6. Vieri

    @Bruno if you have been having injury problems for several seasons while Inter had less, that can not be just luck. Physical conditioning, the coach’s team management, and your club doctors are also responsible for managing the amount of injuries in your team. If Inter, under two different managers in Conte and Inzaghi, could have a less injury prone run than Milan under Pioli, that just means Inter as a club are better at those other things than Milan. It takes the effort of an entire club to win and clearly Milan are just inferior to Inter in that regard.

    Plus it’s also bullshit to say Inter don’t have injuries. Inter can’t even play Eriksen anymore and have lost Sensi for long periods of time. Right now De Vrij and Darmian are also injured. The fact of the matter is your squad is just bad and your manager is inadequate. Napoli are also riddled with injuries, even more so than Milan, so your injury excuse is just lame.

  7. Kam

    Milan actually weren’t inferior to Napoli. Both sides had crucial players out so I don’t think that’s an excuse for either side.

    However, the sooner Pioli STOPS relying on Krunic the better. That guy just isn’t Milan quality. If you want to challenge for the Scudetto you can’t have guy’s like Krunic starting all the time. Pioli should either change formation or start Alexis as LW.

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