Italy: Naples winter champion, Milan held back by Roma

Napoli, rebounding against Sampdoria (2-0) four days after their first loss, secured the honorary title of winter champion on Sunday by taking advantage of Roma’s incredible late-game comeback on the pitch of his runner-up AC Milan (2-2).

Two days before the mid-season, Napoli are seven points ahead of Juventus (2nd), their next opponent on Friday, and as many over the Rossoneri (3rd), joined when they were leading 2-0 at four minutes. of the end of regulation time.

– Naples relaunched –

Sampdoria paid a moving tribute before the match to its ex-glories Gianluca Vialli, who died of pancreatic cancer at 58, and Sinisa Mihajlovic, who died of leukemia in December at 53.

She would no doubt have liked to crown this tribute with a prestigious victory, but Napoli were too strong for the relegated Genoese (18th) and reduced to ten before the break.

Tammy Abraham congratulated by Benjamin Tahirovic offered the equalizer to AS Roma on the lawn of AC Milan, January 8, 2023 (AFP – Filippo MONTEFORTE)

Naples certainly missed an entry penalty, but can count on a decisive Victor Osimhen: the top scorer in Serie A unblocked the situation with his tenth goal (19th) before causing direct exclusion for a nasty foul by Tomas Rincon (39th). Eljif Elmas sheltered Naples on a new penalty (82nd).

Napoli chased away the doubts born of their first misstep in the league, Wednesday against Inter Milan (0-1), before welcoming the Bianconeri: “It will be a great match, against a great team. But we have a great team,” said Osimhen.

– Milan trapped –

Tommaso Pobega's AC Milan was snagged by Tammy Abraham's AS Roma (centre) in the Serie A clash at the San Siro on January 8, 2023 (AFP - Filippo MONTEFORTE)
Tommaso Pobega’s AC Milan was snagged by Tammy Abraham’s AS Roma (centre) in the Serie A clash at the San Siro on January 8, 2023 (AFP – Filippo MONTEFORTE)

The French defender of Milan Pierre Kalulu opened the scoring with a header from a corner (30th), but set pieces are indeed a Roman specialty, as the Giallorossi recalled at the very end of the match.

While Milan largely dominated the debates and made the break by Tommaso Pobega (77th), Roger Ibanez, also with a header from a corner (87th), then Tammy Abraham, on receiving a free kick (90 + 3rd), knocked out San Siro.

“We know it’s difficult here, that you have to be patient… At the end, I felt it was an opportunity for me, I was there in the right place”, smiled the striker English, even if Roma remain sixth, three points from the Top 4.

Milan coach Stefano Pioli regretted “not having won a match where we played so well”. “We have to keep playing like this, but the matches last 95 minutes…”, he sighed.

– Tifosi pissed off –

At the Olimpico, Lazio received Empoli (2-2) in front of a North turn without ultras, the stand having been closed by the sports authorities after the racist cries of Laziali supporters in Lecce towards Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda.

Like Milan, Lazio (5th) let slip at the end of a meeting that it mastered, thanks to goals from Felipe Anderson (2nd) and Mattia Zaccagni (54th). She was surprised by a counter from Francesco Caputo (83rd) then a shot from Razvan Marin (90 + 4th).

This time it was Roma and Naples supporters who hit the headlines, with clashes on a motorway rest area between Roman tifosi en route to Milan and other Neapolitans going to Genoa.

These scuffles involving dozens of people required the intervention of the police and the temporary closure of the motorway, according to Italian media, which mentioned a light injury.

Italy: Naples winter champion, Milan held back by Roma – Teller Report