AC Milan are again atop the Serie A standings after one other sensational Zlatan Ibrahimovic efficiency noticed them declare a 3-1 victory over Napoli on the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday evening.
The Rossoneri had been briefly displaced from first after Sassuolo’s victory earlier within the day but it surely was short-lived after the Diavolo claimed their first victory over the Partenopei in 11 tries.
A lot of the credit score should go to Ibrahimovic because the Swede netted twice – the primary of which was a spectacular header from distance – to assist Milan stamp their authority over former boss Gennaro Gattuso.
Though Dries Mertens’ strike reduce the lead in half within the 62nd minute, it wasn’t sufficient as Tiemoue Bakayoko picked up a crimson card in opposition to his former aspect quickly after to complicate issues and let the air out of a doable fightback. Jens Petter Hauge scored his first Serie A purpose for Milan in harm time to place a bow on proceedings.
Matteo Politano bought issues going by forcing Simon Kjaer right into a determined interception, whereas Milan responded by way of a Hakan Calhanoglu effort that Alex Meret palmed away.
The impasse was damaged within the twentieth minute as Ibrahimovic headed dwelling an ideal header from simply contained in the penalty space. Theo Hernandez fired in an inviting cross and the Swede bought in entrance of Kalidou Koulibaly to steer his effort into the far backside nook.
The purpose means Ibrahimovic now joins the likes of Gabriel Batistuta, Christian Vieri and Krzysztof Piatek in turning into the fourth participant to attain in every of his first six Serie A video games of the season within the three factors period.
The purpose wakened Napoli as Mertens nearly picked out the again of the online with an ideal strike from distance, nonetheless Gianluigi Donnarumma bought right down to push it around the publish.
Napoli had three probabilities from the ensuing nook with Bakayoko’s shot parried by Donnarumma, Giovanni Di Lorenzo firing his strike onto the bar whereas Hirving Lozano noticed his rebound tipped over the bar.
The half ended with Mertens forcing Donnarumma into one other save from a Lorenzo Insigne free kick.
The momentum didn’t carry over to the second half for the house aspect nonetheless as Milan doubled their benefit off a surgical counter within the 54th minute. Ante Rebic surged ahead and took on Kostas Manolas earlier than floating in a pinpoint cross to the far publish the Ibrahimovic pushed in utilizing his knee.
After the Swede noticed a 3rd accurately referred to as again for offside it was Napoli that took benefit of sloppy Milan defending to chop the deficit in half.
Franck Kessie misplaced the ball simply exterior the penalty space and after Mario Rui fired in a low cross that Alessio Romagnoli couldn’t management, Mertens was quickest to it and fired beneath a charging Donnarumma to reopen the competition.
Napoli’s fightback was dealt a fast blow nonetheless as Bakayoko picked up a second yellow minutes later for a foolish lunge on Theo Hernandez that was by no means going to work out.
It wasn’t all excellent news for the Rossoneri although as Ibrahimovic pulled up clutching his hamstring with simply over 10 minutes remaining, with teenager Lorenzo Colombo approaching in his place.
Colombo and Andrea Petagna noticed late probabilities go to waste earlier than Hauge latched onto a Ismael Bennacer via ball earlier than squeezing it previous Meret from a proper angle to wrap up a well-known victory for the Rossoneri.