Napoli 1-3 AC Milan: Three things we learned as Ibrahimovic brace ends ten-year winless run

Milan certainly bounced back from the 2-2 draw against Hellas Verona this evening, ending a ten-year winless run away at Napoli. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the big hero once again with a brace, helping the Rossoneri reclaim the top spot in the league standings. 

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring after just 20 minutes, managing to get away from Kalidou Koulibaly in the box. Theo Hernandez spotted this and picked him out with a perfect cross, which the Swede met with his head. It looked very easy, but that was indeed a world-class finish by the 39-year-old. 

Napoli had a few chances to equalise, including a shot from close range that hit the bar, but it got even better for Milan as Ibrahimovic doubled the lead at the start of the second half. This time, Ante Rebic made the run on the left flank and set the striker up for what was an easy tap-in.

The home side pulled one back through Dries Mertens but just a few minutes after, Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off after receiving his second yellow. From there on, Milan decided to defend the lead and eventually scored on the counter to make it three, with Jens Petter Hauge grabbing his first league goal.

1. Ibrahimovic continues to stun everyone

The Swede has a significant role in this team, there’s no doubt about it, and his impact since his arrival in January has been incredible. At this point, we shouldn’t be too surprised by his performances, yet that ends up being the case after every game. He now has ten goals in six games, which is incredible.

Hopefully, the injury he sustained towards the end of the game (looked like he pulled a muscle) isn’t too serious. By the looks of things, he won’t be available for Thursday’s encounter with Lille which should mean that Ante Rebic will start as the centre-forward (Leao is injured).

2. Milan’s defence is very solid and reassuring

Napoli, despite missing their star Victor Osimhen, fielded a very strong attack this evening and it was surprising to see them create so little. Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne are usually masters at finding a way through, but they couldn’t this evening and one could argue that their goal was a bit lucky.

Simon Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli worked very hard, as usual, but the full-backs also deserve a lot of praise for tonight’s clean sheet. Of course, Gigio Donnarumma shouldn’t be forgotten as he made a few good saves to deny the Partenopei attackers in their attempts.

3. Milan can go far this season

There has been a lot of talk about the Rossoneri’s potential for this season, with many suggesting that they won’t be able to compete for the Scudetto in the end. Based on the start to the season, the other big teams should be more worried than Milan, who have continued to follow their plan.

Sure, the Scudetto isn’t the main goal for Milan but it would be silly not to go for it, especially since the likes of Inter and Juventus have struggled a bit thus far. The next few rounds will be telling, but eventually they will have to be considered as real contenders if this continues.

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