AC Milan prevailed at Napoli by a solitary goal to storm to the top of the 2021-22 Serie A standings. In an intense three-horse title race, holders Inter Milan are two points behind, albeit with a game in behind. The Partenopei are a further point adrift in third as an enticing title race looks set to go down to the wire.
In terms of consistency, though, Milan have had a slight edge in recent weeks. The Rossoneri are unbeaten in their last eight games across competitions, racking off some impressive results.
Stefano Pioli's men beat erstwhile leaders Inter Milan 2-1, battered Lazio 4-0 and on Sunday, added Napoli to their list of vanquished victims.
Olivier Giroud the difference for Rossoneri
AC Milan went into Sunday’s game deadlocked on 57 points with Napoli, which made the fixture a top-of-the-table clash.
Playing at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Luciano Spalletti’s side started as the favourites. However, they were shocked by the Rossoneri, thanks to a 49th-minute strike from Olivier Giroud.
The French striker continued his fine form this season. His second-half strike was enough to give Milan all three points, condemning Napoli to their first Serie A defeat this year. It was his eighth league strike of the season to go with three assists.
The Partenopei were the better side on the night and, arguably deserved more for their efforts. They had six shots on target compared to Milan’s one, and also enjoyed the larger share of possession, although they couldn’t make that count.
AC Milan to win first Scudetto in 11 years?
AC Milan’s victory against Napoli was important for two reasons: first, they beat one of their main rivals, and secondly, the result has taken them to the top of the table.
Opening a three-point lead over Spalletti’s side is a worthy advantage. Although Inter Milan have a game in hand, the Rossoneri can rest easy at the top for now.
"Inter are still the favourites because they are the reigning champions and have a game in hand," a modest Pioli said after the weekend’s huge victory, as quoted by Goal. "They are a very strong team who know what it means to win. The sooner we have a table with all the teams playing the same number of games, the sooner we’ll be able to judge," added Pioli.
If Inter win their game in hand, the Rossoneri will get knocked off their perch. However, with only ten games remaining, Pioli's men can dream of a first Scudetto title in 11 years.