Napoli's top four ambitions suffered another setback on Saturday evening, as the visitors were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by struggling Milan.
I Partenopei took the lead in the 24th minute, Hirving Lozano nodding home the rebound after Lorenzo Insigne hit the crossbar with a terrific effort from the edge of the box. Milan equalised almost immediately though, Jack Bonaventura rifling home to bag his first goal since his return from injury.
Both sides had chances to win the game in the second half, but neither goalkeeper was particularly stretched by their opposition. Elif Elmas was presented with an excellent opportunity to swing the match in his team's favour, but he opted to dive rather than shoot when in on goal, and received a yellow card for his actions.
The draw leaves both Milan and Napoli languishing much lower in the table than they expected at the beginning of the season, and the pressure is beginning to pile up on Carlo Ancelotti.
Key Talking Point
It's been a torrid start to the new Serie A campaign for Milan, who are already serving under their second manager of the season following the sacking of Marco Giampaolo. Stefano Piolo seems to be helping the Italian giants to find their feet once again, and they're proving much more difficult to break down than under his predecessor.
I Rossoneri defended impressively throughout the match against a pacy and dangerous front three, and they also created some wonderful opportunities going forward.
There is a long way to go in this rebuilding process, but there are certainly green shots of hope at San Siro.
Substitutes: Kessié (7), Calabria (7), Leao (N/A).
STAR MAN - Jack Bonaventura has been sorely missed by I Rossoneri for a long time, but the Italian midfielder looks to be back to his best following his long-term lay-off. The 30-year-old managed only eight appearances last season until a knee injury ended his season prematurely, and delayed the beginning of his current campaign.
3 different sporting directors since he was acquired, one of which spent over €200 million in one summer, and you can make a case Bonaventura is still Milan’s best player after Donnarumma who was home grown- that sums up why Milan has struggled for so long— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) November 23, 2019
Fortunately for Milan and Bonaventura, he has finally recovered from his injury nightmares and is back to his dynamic best. The box-to-box midfielder dragged his side back into the game with a stunning strike, fizzing the ball beyond Alex Meret and revitalising a desperate San Siro audience.
His hard work, energy and determination have been missing from the heart of Milan's team, and his return to form may be the catalyst that fires Pioli's men back up the Serie A table.
Key Talking Point
Time to do some 'dive watch'.
,Elmas ⤵splash,9,5— Gianluca 煉 (@PittiLuca) November 23, 2019
Only, the Macedonian was not touched by Donnarumma. He anticipated contact and threw himself to the ground, but fortunately the referee was having none of it. Elmas was booked for diving and cost his side a valuable goalscoring opportunity and potentially a valuable two extra points.
Substitutes: Mertens (7), Younes (7), Llorente (6)
STAR MAN - This guy gets through a hell of a lot of work. Allan has attracted the attention of some of Europe's biggest teams, and it's no wonder given the impact he has on every game. If you're looking for a solid midfielder to give you a seven out of ten performance week in, week out, then the Brazilian dynamo is your man.
Allan works tirelessly for his teammates, breaking up play and restarting his side's dangerous counter-attacks with his accurate passing. His performance against Milan was no different. Napoli struggled against Milan's physical approach, but the 28-year-old was a match for everything the hosts threw at him.
A superb display in the centre of the park once again from the in-demand midfielder.
Milan follow up their draw against Napoli with a tough trip to Parma on Sunday afternoon, as coach Pioli looks to continue I Rossoneri's steady progress under his stewardship.
Napoli face arguably their most difficult match of the season when they travel to Anfield to take on European champions Liverpool on Wednesday evening, before entertaining Bologna on Sunday.