Napoli 1-1 Milan (1-2 agg): Champions League quarter-final, second leg – live reaction | Champions League
“Here in Naples, everyone was hoping for a miracle in the city renowned for such phemonena as the liquefying of the blood of San Gennaro,” says Colum Fordham. “But despite the best efforts of Kavara and co, this was not to be. For a small squad, winning Serie A is already miraculous enough. And Milan have Leao, a latterday George Weah who has been superb in both games.”
You’d like to see another Baggio solo goal you say?
Updated at 17.04 EDT
Milan will face Internazionale or Benfica after an extremely hard-fought draw in Naples. They defended admirably, restricting Napoli to few clear chances, and Mike Maignan’s brilliant penalty save from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia postponed Napoli’s onslaught by 11 crucial minutes.
Olivier Giroud also had a penalty saved in the first half; then he scored the decisive goal after a mesmeric 70-yard run from Rafael Leao. On balance Milan deserved it, though the competition is poorer for Napoli’s absence. Then again, it would also be poorer had Rafael Leao gone out, never mind the rest of this impressive Milan team.
Updated at 17.05 EDT
87 min “While I agree that there’s a big difference between ‘mostly dead’ and ‘all dead’,” says Kári Tulinius. “Napoli look all dead now after the penalty. I suppose, as consolation prizes go, a scudetto is pretty good.”
Updated at 16.50 EDT
79 min This tie feels over, and it has for the last 15-20 minutes, and yet there is still time for Napoli to set up a grandstand finish. We’ve seen more unlikely comebacks, most recently in last year’s semi-final between Real Madrid and Man City.
Updated at 16.43 EDT
76 min “You know the match has petered out,” says Joe Pearson, “when the Princess Bride and Rushmore quotes start creeping into the MBM.”
Your mind’s as warped as your music taste, Pearson.
Updated at 16.39 EDT
66 min “AC Milan really are defending as if an all-Milan UCL semi-final depends on them,” says Aditi Modi. “Which is ironic, given that the order of the quarter-finals means that it technically depends on their San Siro cohabitants to ensure the semi-final. And while it’s a long shot, maybe, just maybe, Benfica might be able to pull off the impossible?”
Given what happened in their last Champions League quarter-final, I’m sure Inter will be taking nothing for granted.
Updated at 16.29 EDT
55 min “As an ageing full-back,” begins Pádraig McAuliffe, “I note that the imperious Calabria has only seven more international caps than I do, and I was once described as playing like Curtis Fleming on horse tranquiliser.”
And that was by Curtis Fleming himself.
Updated at 16.18 EDT
53 min “As Giroud was putting it in the back of the net I exclaimed ‘what a goal!’, mainly in regards to Leao’s run,” says Matt Burtz. “That said, do you have a YouTube history page consisting solely of all-time great goals that you can access and post within 30 seconds like you did here?”
I do, it’s called Rob’s special brain.
Updated at 16.17 EDT
51 min Leao goes on another outrageous run from inside his own half, all the way to the edge of the Napoli area. Eventually he lays the ball off to Brahim Diaz, who is dispossessed.
Leao doesn’t necessarily dominate games, but my god he knows how to decorate them. It’s not just the ground he covers and the players he beats that catches the eye; it’s the elegance and balance with which he does so. In some ways balance is the great indefinable of football, but we know it when we see it.
Updated at 16.16 EDT
50 min “That tactical foul is as much a professional foul as the one denying the obvious goalscoring opportunity,” says Andy Flintoff. “I know there’d be a huge backlash from proper football men if it happened, but just once, wouldn’t you like to see the referee brandish a red card rather than a yellow for it?”
No. And if that makes me a proper football man, then that’s a cross I’ll have to bear.
Updated at 16.13 EDT
47 min “Why has Ndombele started this match?” says Yash Gupta. “Great piece of skill by Leao. But I know one player named Patrick who was Crystal Palace manager, who would’ve just smacked Leao to stop that run. You don’t allow Leao to run. Napoli allowed this and the game is done.”
Anguissa is suspended. Very fair point on taking a yellow card though. In that situation, ask yourself one thing: What Would Josep Do?
Updated at 16.11 EDT
“I don’t know what you were watching,” says Anthony in Dortmund, “but that was definitely a penalty and a yellow for Leao (36 min). Yet more VAR madness. Looking at the different angles, he didn’t get the ball first and went through Lozano in the box.”
Well I was watching the TV, but having just had time to look properly at a replay I think you are probably right. Not sure it qualifies as VAR madness though.
One thing I didn’t realise is that as many as four Napoli players may have encroached on Giroud’s penalty, so technically that should probably have been retaken.
Updated at 16.03 EDT
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