AC Milan and Inter Milan close gap on Napoli at the top of Serie A

AC Milan and Inter close gap on Serie A leaders Napoli after they both win as Luciano Spalletti’s side can only draw at Sassuolo… while Jose Mourinho’s Roma are beaten at Bologna

  • Napoli squandered two-goal lead as Sassuolo mounted late comeback
  • Luciani Spalletti’s men remained one point clear of AC Milan at the top of Serie A 
  • Sassuolo equalised in the 89th minute and a had the winner ruled out by VAR 
  • Milan won 3-0 at Genoa as Junior Messias scored brace in first start for the club
  • Inter are two points behind Napoli after beating Spezia 2-0 at home 


Napoli saw their lead over AC Milan at the top of Serie A cut to one point after they squandered a two-goal lead against Sassuolo.

Fabian Ruiz and Dries Mertens scored within eight second half minutes to put Luciano Spalletti’s men 2-0 up with an hour gone, before Gianluca Scamacca scored a third goal in two games to pull one back for the host.

Gian Marco Ferrari’s 89th minute header drew Sassuolo level and Gregoire Defrel looked to have won the game for the hosts in stoppage time, only for VAR to disallow the goal. 

Dries Mertens scored for the second consecutive game to put Napoli 2-0 ahead

Fresh from upsetting Milan at the San Siro at the weekend, Sassuolo kept the Serie A leaders at bay during an even 45 minutes, before Ruiz struck six minutes into the second half to break the deadlock with a precise left-footed finish. 

Mertens added a second shortly afterward, before Gianluca Scamacca pulled one back for the hosts with 20 minutes left as he netted his third goal in the last two games. 

In a frantic finale, Ferrari levelled the score with a late goal, before Spalletti was sent off and Defrel looked to have secured another famous win for Sassuolo.

Fabian Ruiz had put Napoli ahead early in the second half with a smart left-footed finish

Fabian Ruiz had put Napoli ahead early in the second half with a smart left-footed finish

Gian Marco Ferrari rescued a late point for Sassuolo with a looping header

Gian Marco Ferrari rescued a late point for Sassuolo with a looping header

Junior Messias scored twice on his first start for Milan as the Rossoneri beat Genoa 3-0

Junior Messias scored twice on his first start for Milan as the Rossoneri beat Genoa 3-0

MATCH FACTS 

Sassuolo (4-3-3): Consigli; Rogerio (Kyriakopoulos 61), Ferrari, Toljan, Chiriches; Lopez, Frattesi (Harroui 77), Junior Traore (Henrique 61); Scamacca, Berardi, Raspadori (Defrel 87)

Unused subs: Pegolo, Satalino, Peluso, Kaan, Müldür, Magnanelli

Manager: Alessio Dionisi

Goals: Scamacca (71)

Booked: Rogerio, Berardi, Henrique, Defrel

Napoli (4-3-3): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibali (Juan Jesus 80), Mario Rui; Ruiz (Politano 66), Zielinski, Lobotka; Insigne (Elmas 46), Mertens (Petagna 65), Lozano (Demme 73)

Unused subs: Meret, Merfella, Ghoulam, Malcuit, Ounas, 

Manager: Luciano Spalletti

Goals: Ruiz (51), Mertens (59)

Booked: Politano, Demme

VAR eventually rescued Napoli and they remained one point clear of Milan, who won 3-0 away at Genoa as Junior Messias scored a brace on his first start for the Rossoneri.

Milan came into the game after back-to-back league losses to Fiorentina and Sassuolo, and took control early on when Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired home a 10th-minute free kick.

Brazilian winger Messias, who scored the winner against Atletico Madrid on his Champions League debut last week, was named in Milan’s starting line-up for the first time and marked the occasion in style by scoring either side of halftime. 

Stefano Pioli’s men remain three points behind Napoli and one point clear of Inter Milan, who beat Spezia 2-0 at home earlier on Wednesday. 

Roberto Gagliardini finished off a well-worked team move to put the Nerazzurri ahead at halftime, and Lautaro Martinez’s penalty after the break secured the three points.

It could have been more, with Joaquin Correa hitting the bar and Inter spurning several more chances, as Spezia coach Thiago Motta had a night to forget against the club he won the Treble with as a player.

The reigning Serie A champions moved up to 34 points, one point behind Milan and two adrift of Napoli and extended their unbeaten run to seven matches, while Spezia remained 17th with 11 points. 

Inter are on a three-game winning run in Serie A and face Jose Mourinho’s Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, while Napoli host fourth-placed Atalanta and Milan welcome Salernitana on the same day.

Roma lost 1-0 away at Bologna on Wednesday and remain fifth, 10 points behind the leaders. 

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