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3 vs 1
Played
February 9, 2014 1:15 AM IST
Stadio San Paolo — Napoli
Referee:‬ D. Massa‎
Attendance:‬ 40000‎
 
Top of the Match
Gonzalo Higuaín
Gonzalo Higuaín
Napoli
Gonzalo Higuaín
Gonzalo Higuaín
Napoli
Flop of the Match
Robinho
Robinho
Milan
Robinho
Robinho
Milan

Napoli 3-1 AC Milan: Higuain puts Rossoneri to the sword

The former Madrid striker scored two second-half goals to give the hosts a 3-1 success against their embattled opponents

Dries Mertens Michael Essien Napoli Milan Serie A 02082014
Getty Images
Gonzalo Higuain scored twice to help Napoli record a 3-1 success over AC Milan to inflict a first defeat upon new Rossoneri boss Clarence Seedorf.

When Adel Taarabt opened the scoring for the visiting side, it seemed their rejuvenation under the ex-midfielder was going to continue, but Gokhan Inler drew Rafael Benitez's men level before the break.

In the second half Higuain grabbed a double to ensure the hosts ended a three-match winless streak.

Napoli, who were beaten by Atalanta in Serie A last weekend and Roma in semi-final of the Coppa Italia in midweek, dominated from start to finish and are now only three points behind second-placed Roma - who have two games in hand.

Defeat for Milan was their first in the league since Seedorf took over as coach last month, but the Dutchman may count his blessings that his side were not beaten by a more handsome margin.

Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam replaced the injured Anthony Reveillere and Dries Mertens came in for Jose Callejon, who started on the bench along with January signing Henrique.

Michael Essien and Taarabt made their Milan debuts, while striker Mario Balotelli returned from suspension as Seedorf made six changes to the side that drew with Torino last weekend.

Napoli made a bright start, but they were caught out after only seven minutes when QPR loanee Taarabt raced forward before placing a measured right-foot strike into the far corner of the net from just outside the area as the home defence backed off.

The goal was harsh on Benitez's team, but they were level three minutes later courtesy of a fine left-foot strike from Inler that took a deflection and looped over Christian Abbiati.

Milan struggled to cope with Napoli's attacking threat, and Higuain was inches away from putting the home side in front when his shot flashed wide of the far post.

Abbiati was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after 22 minutes when he rushed out of his area and upended Mertens after the winger had raced onto a through-ball and attempted to lob the veteran goalkeeper.

To add insult to injury, Abbiati kept out the resulting free-kick from the Belgium international, before Marek Hamsik's venomous left-foot volley flashed just wide.

Christian Maggio then hit the post from a tight angle and Lorenzo Insigne headed just wide as Milan somehow went in level at the break.

Kaka replaced fellow Brazilian Robinho at half-time, but his introduction failed to turn the tide as Napoli maintained the upper hand and Abbiati could only watch on as Insigne's strike flashed wide.

It was only a matter of time before the home side took the lead, and it was former Real Madrid man Higuain who put them in front when he headed home an inviting cross from Inler 11 minutes into the second half.

The Argentina striker was a constant menace and he ought to have given Napoli breathing space but missed his kick after evading the vulnerable Philippe Mexes.

Napoli could have been made to pay for not making their dominance count but Taarabt's strike was kept out by Pepe Reina and then Balotelli failed to capitalise after the Spanish goalkeeper had totally missed his kick.

Higuain sealed the points with eight minutes left, though, slotting home from close range after Callejon picked him out.


Napoli

25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
3.00
21
3.00
13
Faouzi Ghoulam
Defender
3.00
33
Raúl Albiol
Defender
3.00
-
Jorginho
Midfielder
11′ 68′
3.50
11
Christian Maggio
Midfielder
3.00
17
Marek Hamsik
Midfielder
83′
3.50
88
Gökhan Inler
Midfielder
11′ 38′ 56′ 89′
4.00
9
4.50
14
Dries Mertens
Striker
4.00
24
Lorenzo Insigne
Midfielder
78′
3.50

Milan

3.00
32
2.00
2
2.00
5
3.00
4
Adil Rami
Defender
2.00
20
2.00
-
Michael Essien
Midfielder
3.50
7
Adel Taarabt
Midfielder
8′ 54′
2.00
28
2.50
34
Nigel De Jong
Midfielder
1.50
7
Robinho
Striker
46′
2.50
45

Substitutes

1
Rafael
Goalkeeper
 - 
15
 - 
3
Bruno Uvini
Defender
 - 
5
 - 
-
Henrique
Defender
 - 
20
 - 
22
 - 
85
Valon Behrami
Midfielder
83′
 - 
13
Davide Bariti
Midfielder
 - 
7
3.50
19
 - 
91
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
Marco Amelia
Goalkeeper
 - 
59
Gabriel
Goalkeeper
 - 
21
Kevin Constant
Midfielder
 - 
26
 - 
81
 - 
4
Sulley Muntari
Midfielder
 - 
8
 - 
16
Andrea Poli
Midfielder
2.00
18
2.50
11
2.50
22
Kaká
Midfielder
46′
 - 
37

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
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  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
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  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0