Napoli put AC Milan under some early pressure in the opening minutes of the match, as Milan’s attempts at playing the ball out of the back only ended up resulting in some pressure being put on Donnarumma as Milan kept losing possession before the ball crossed midfield.
Allan and Insigne did well to get some shots off early, but nothing challenged Donnarumma in the least, with Allan’s shot lacking power and Insigne’s shot on a breakaway looked a combination between a chip and a rocket launch.
JAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!! ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/HewrEN0oZW— Matthew Santangelo (@Matt_Santangelo) August 25, 2018
Milan was able to strike first in the 15th minute, as Fabio Borini’s headed cut back was latched onto by Giacomo Bonaventura and fired home by a brilliant scissor-kick shot that had no business coming close, much less streaking past a completely beaten David Ospina.
Bonaventura came close again in the 18th minute after driving into the box after a free-kick, and after dribbling through some traffic, he was able to put a cross/shot into the six-yard box, only for the ball to dribble past the far post.
Napoli continued a high-press against Milan, frustrating Milan’s attempts to play the ball on the floor out of the back. Milan seemed pinned back on a regular basis, searching for a way into Napoli’s half, but Napoli couldn’t really turn the pressure into any quality attempts on goal as Milan’s defense, and the good hands of Donnarumma, turned everything aside.
Words were spoken in about the 30th minute as Suso and Insigne both were yellow carded after a rather heated disagreement, as a crowd gathered and a rather spirited debate took place outside of the Napoli penalty box after Suso was flagged for offsides.
Callejon’s shot just skipped past the post after a turnover and then Lucas Biglia turned the ball over (again) which lead to another Napoli shot, this time by Zielinski, but once again, it wasn’t very threatening.
Milic launched a rocket of a shot on the net in stoppage time, but Donnarumma did well to get his hands to the shot and not allow any wayward rebound shots.
Milan started the second half off right, scoring a brilliant goal. Davide Calabria got room in the penalty box and put the ball past an outstretched Ospina. The ball was played forward into box and Suso did well to pick out a streaking Calabria who hit the ball sweetly.
Napoli pulled one back as Milan couldn’t control the ball in their own half and Zielinski made the visitors pay, dribbling unhindered at the top of the Milan box and firing a ball past Donnarumma.
Tiemoue Bakayoko came on for Lucas Biglia in the second half as Milan looked to try and close the match down.
And then things fell apart.
GOAL Zielinski!! Napoli 2-2 Milan pic.twitter.com/SDPPyWiVjX— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) August 25, 2018
Zielinksi scored a second goal to draw the teams level off of a corner kick that Bakayoko did well to clear, but the ball fell to Zielinski who did well to pick a spot in traffic and honestly, a goalkeeper with the ability of Donnarumma really should have stopped that shot.
After the second Napoli goal, Milan started to look uncomfortable. The midfield, which seemed to have problems in the first half, started to go invisible, with the team not winning any second balls and Higuain being forced to dribble from about halfway line to get anything going.
GOAL Mertens!! Napoli 3-2 Milan pic.twitter.com/85AuJdxqQE— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) August 25, 2018
We need Conti back in that position, Calabria has too many lapses in concentration.— The AC Milan-Godfather (@ACMilanSydney) August 25, 2018
If he was in his position I doubt Mertens would have scored, he had all the time in the world to lineup a shot.
And then Napoli scored a rather easy goal to take the lead for good, as no one bothered to mark Dries Mertens as he streaked into the box and scored the winning goal.
Milan crumbled like a house of cards in the second half in a rather disappointing display, despite taking a 2-0 lead on the road.
Lots will be written about this match, but the biggest takeaway was the the high press of Napoli made life far, far too difficult for Milan and without a midfielder who is able to take the ball at his feet and transition the ball from the defense to the forwards and wingers, it will be a long season for Milan against the top teams in the division.