It was a great response that was necessary in the wake of a misstep at home to Sassuolo on a tricky afternoon in Naples. AC Milan come away from the Stadio Piccolo in Cercola with a big win following a strong performance, replete with heart and character. The Rossonere were in a tricky spot after last week's defeat: Goldoni's missed penalty and Thrige's goal seemed to make the match easier, but then Giacinti's missed penalty and a red card shown to Codina - all in the first half - complicated matters. The Rossonere, with attention and stubbornness, managed both the lead and the numerical disadvantage in a mature way, without ever getting into trouble or suffering.
All it took was a structured performance in the second half to bring home a 1-0 win. That was all that we needed. The Diavolo got back to winning ways on matchday 5 in the league and more to 12 points and are in second place, three points behind joint leaders Juventus and Sassuolo. Now, the Rossonere get straight back to work in Serie A: they take on Roma on Sunday 10 October at 12:30 CEST at Vismara.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM NAPOLI V AC MILAN
Ganz made two changes to last week's team; Árnadóttir and Grimshaw started. AC Milan got out of jail in the ninth minute after having conceded a penalty. Codina brought Acuti down (though the contact seemed like it was outside the box) and Goldoni hit the crossbar from the spot. It was a hard-fought clash but Thrige gave the Rossonere the lead with their first chance. In the 24th minute, Aguirre's cleared it out but only as far as Andersen, who just had to tap it home. Vero ran the show and, in the 27th minute, forced the Napoli 'keeper into a fine save. The Rossonere were, by now, dominating possession of the football and had a clear chance to double their lead in the 42nd minute. Garnier brought Grimshaw down in the box and AC Milan were awarded a penalty but Giacinti was denied from the spot by Aguirre. The game was about to get even more complicated following a second yellow card shown to Codina.
There were no changes at the break and the Diavolo went with a 4-4-1 formation. They were required to put in a lot of hard yards and it was no accident that Bergamaschi took centre stage; she headed wide (47') before setting off on a long run only to be denied by the foot of Aguirre (57'). Despite being a player down, our warriors rarely suffered, rather they remained the better side. It wasn't a classic game and aside from the changes, there was little action of note until the 80th minute when Popadinova rifled it towards goal: Giuliani made the stop. As the game wound to a close, Bergamaschi almost conceded another penalty and there was a bit of nervousness but no real danger. Full time.
NAPOLI 0-1 AC MILAN
NAPOLI (5-3-2): Aguirre; Imprezzabile (62' Porcarelli), Garnier, Di Marino, Corrado, Abrahamsson; Colombo, Tui, Goldoni (76' Popadinova); Acuti (76' Deppy), Erzen. Subs.: Chiavaro; Awona, Capitanelli, Toniolo; Kuenrath, Severini. Coach: Pistolesi.
AC MILAN (3-4-2-1): Giuliani; Árnadóttir, Agard, Codina; Thrige, Jane, Adami (64' Thomas), Bergamaschi; Grimshaw, Vero; Giacinti. Subs.: Korenčiová; Fusetti, Rizza, Ticozzelli, Tucceri Cimini; Longo, Miotto, Ronchetti. Coach: Ganz.
Referee: Centi di Terni.
Goal: 24' Thrige (M).
Bookings: 64' Garnier (N), 90' Marino (N), 90' Giacinti (M).
Sent off: 43' Codina (M) for a second bookable offence.
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