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Dries Mertens scored a winner ten minutes from time as Napoli came from two goals down to secure a famous 3-2 victory over AC Milan on Saturday evening, as Carlo Ancelotti got the better for his former side who he led to two Champions League titles.
AC Milan opened the scoring on the 15th minute as Giacomo Bonaventura produced a spectacular half-volley scissor kick which arrowed past new Napoli keeper David Ospina to give the visitors the lead with their first genuine chance of the match.
This incarnation of Napoli under Ancelotti seems to be slow to get into games, and only snapped into life towards the end of the first half. Napoli cried for a penalty when Marco Rui bundled into Davide Calabria in the penalty area, however, the referee gave the free-kick to Milan. Whilst Arkadiusz Milik saw his shot palmed over by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Napoli pushed and pressed for an equalizer, but where stunned again on the breakaway as Milan went 2-0 up on the 49th minute. Right back Davide Calabre swept forward, played a smart pass to Suso who returned the ball Calabre’s shot from outside the box arrowed into the left hand corner.
The two-goal cushion proved to be short-lived as Napoli hit-back just four minutes later to half the deficit. Polish attacker Piotr Zielinski had plenty of time to shoot, and his drilled effort nestled into the bottom corner to give Napoli a lifeline.
The Neopolitans ramped up the pressure in search of an equalizer Zielinski again was guilty of missing a chance just after the hour mark, however, the midfielder was not going to be denied on the 67th minute. An in swinging corner was cleared by Bakayoko and fell into the path of Zielinski and his first-time shot swirled past Donnarumma.
Ancelotti’s side ramped up the pressure further in search of a winner with Allan missing a key chance on the 75th minute, whilst at the other end Bakayoko saw his tame header saved by Ospina.
Napoli completed the comeback with ten minutes left to play. Lorenzo Insigne cut in from the wing and squared the ball for substitute Dries Mertens who smashed the ball into the opposite corner to seal a memorable home debut for Carlo Ancelotti against his former employers.
Carlo Ancelotti will face off against former side AC Milan in his first home league game with Napoli on Saturday evening. Ancelotti enjoyed nine trophy-laden seasons in Milan, including two Champions League, wins with the side. However, now the 59-year old coach will be looking to get one over his former employees. As ever, you can watch all the action Live & Exclusive via beIN SPORTS Connect.
Napoli showed plenty of heart in their opening game of the season, coming from a goal down to defeat Lazio away from home. Goals from Arkadiusz Milik and a stunning winner from Lorenzo Insigne was enough to give the Neopolitan all three points.
Lorenzo Insigne proved his value to Napoli with his stunning strike last weekend. The Italian is crucial to how Napoli set up in attack and is likely to start against AC Milan. With Milan losing Leonardo Bonnuci in the summer, they are lacking a leader in central defence and Isigne could be the perfect player to capitalize on the confusion at the back in what will be the Rossoneri's first game of the season.
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TV Channel- HD
Stadium- Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
AC Milan head into their opening game of the Serie A season in good spirits after a summer to remember. Milan had initially been banned from UEFA competitions this season after flouting financial fair play rules. However, a change of ownership has revitalized the club with a host of former players including Paulo Maldini returning in management roles. Whilst several smart loan moves have improved the quality of the squad, which could see Milan make a credible push for the Champions League places
Gonzalo Higuain is Milan’s blockbuster signing of the summer, and the Argentine attacker will be expected to hit the ground running for his new side. Higuain has 76 goals in his last three league seasons and could be the man to fire Milan into the Champions League. Higuain had three seasons with Napoli and will be looking forward to the battle with his former side.
As ever, you can watch Napoli Vs Ac Milan Live & Exclusive via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.