A primary-half purpose from Theo Hernández was sufficient to seal a 1-0 victory for AC Milan over visiting champions Napoli on Sunday, serving to Stefano Pioli’s facet stay unbeaten in Serie A because the flip of the 12 months.
The France defender managed a superb move from Rafael Leão on the sting of the field and despatched it low previous Napoli goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini to present Milan the lead within the twenty fifth minute.
Milan, third within the standings on 52 factors, prolonged their unbeaten league run to 9 video games, together with seven wins.
They’re eight factors behind leaders Inter Milan and one adrift of Juventus in second, who each have a recreation in hand.
“We labored very properly within the first half, then within the second we misplaced a ways, however we could not think about not conceding something to Napoli, who’ve a whole lot of high quality,” Pioli advised a information convention.
Walter Mazzarri’s facet, ninth on 35 factors, travelled to Milan with out striker Victor Osimhen, who on the identical time performed with Nigeria in opposition to Ivory Coast within the Africa Cup of Nations last.
With Italy supervisor Luciano Spalletti watching from the stands, Napoli had an early probability when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia squared the ball to ahead Giovanni Simeone contained in the field however the Argentine knocked it vast together with his first contact.
However Milan have been the higher crew and, after Hernandez netted the opener, Leao might have doubled their lead three minutes later with a shot from distance, which pressured Gollini right into a save.
Napoli, who didn’t have a shot heading in the right direction within the opening 45 minutes, confirmed extra intent after the break however substitute Matteo Politano narrowly missed the goal when he fired from exterior the field on the hour mark.
That they had one other alternative one minute from the top of the sport when midfielder Jesper Lindstrom despatched in a cross which got here off Milan defender Jan-Carlo Simic and hit the put up, narrowly avoiding an personal purpose.
Napoli haven’t scored a single purpose of their final 5 away video games within the league, their longest such streak since 1979 (a run of six).