Stefano Pioli Maintains Napoli Loss Won’t Affect Milan Title Chances

Stefano Pioli maintains a 1-0 derby defeat at the hands of Napoli won’t affect Milan’s title bid. Elif Elmas’ fifth-minute goal gave the Partenopei their second consecutive Serie A victory over the Rossoneri, snapping a run of three league matches without a win.

Elmas connected his header with Piotr Zielinski’s out-swinging corner to decide an evenly-contested affair at the San Siro. Despite dropping deep to defend the lead, Napoli prevented Milan from creating enough goalscoring opportunities and eventually picked up a precious three points. 

However, the Rossoneri nearly stole away a point in the dying moments of the match. Franck Kessie thought he scored an equalizer in the 90th minute, but his celebration was short-lived. Following the VAR intervention, referee Davide Massa ruled Milan’s leveller out for Olivier Giroud’s offside in the build-up to the goal.

Pioli’s men have now failed to win their last two Serie A fixtures in a row (D1, L1), losing some ground on pacesetters Inter. They are now four points below city rivals in third, and it seems like the Christmas break has come at the best possible moment for the Rossoneri

Milan will have a few days to rally their troops ahead of their midweek clash against Empoli. Pioli believes Sunday’s upset will not diminish his side’s hopes of winning their first Scudetto in a decade.

It’s a top-of-the-table clash, but just as it wasn’t worth the Scudetto a month ago, it’s not going to be decisive now either. There’s a long way to go and we want to do well,” Pioli told DAZN, as relayed by MilanNews.

Quality is always the key in every game, especially when the level is raised. Junior has the quality to have that moment of magic, create something and put some interesting balls into the box.