AC Milan maintained their two-point advantage at the top of the Serie A standings as they registered a 3-1 win over Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday night.
The Rossoneri took the lead after just 20 minutes on the clock after Zlatan Ibrahimovic beat Kalidou Koulibaly to a header to find the back of Alex Meret’s net.
At the beginning of the second period, the visitors were able to double the advantage and Zlatan was once again the goalscorer after getting on the right end of Ante Rebic’s cross to convert from close range.
Dries Mertens netted shortly after the hour mark to give Napoli hope of a comeback, but moment later, they were down to ten men after Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
With the man advantage, the Rossoneri were able to control the proceedings and substitute Jens Petter Hauge put the game to bed with the third goal for the Rossoneri in the 95th minute.
Here are three talking points from Rossoneri’s victory.
Ageless Zlatan: Zlatan may have turned 39, but he continues to remain one of the world’s most prolific strikers. Zlatan was absent for nearly a month between September and October after contracting the coronavirus, but since his return, he has been in exceptional touch with eight goals in just five outings. Earlier this year, the Swede joked that the Rossoneri would have won the Scudetto, had he joined at the beginning of the 2019/2020 campaign. Judging by the club’s start to the season, that could become a realistic possibility.
AC Milan end winless run at Napoli: The Rossoneri had gone a decade without beating Napoli on the road prior to the weekend’s clash. Zlatan was among the goalscorers when the Rossoneri beat Napoli 2-1 at the Stadio San Paolo way back in 2010 and he managed to roll back the years to help his team end their woeful run at the Naples outfit. It was also the first time that they had scored three goals against Napoli since the 3-0 triumph at San Siro in February 2011. Zlatan was also on the scoresheet in that game where he converted a penalty.
Gianluigi Donnarumma’s display: Donnarumma has been the undisputed choice for the Rossoneri in goal over the past five years and he showed his importance once again with as many as seven saves. The Italy international made a splendid double save to deny Tiemoue Bakayoko and Hirving Lozano in the first half. At 2-1, he made a vital impact as he closed down the angle and blocked Andrea Petagna’s shot in the 71st minute. Donnarumma’s current deal expires at the end of the season and the club’s hierarchy will surely be desperate to keep hold of him.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com