Milan and Napoli settle for a draw in Serie A

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AC Milan and Napoli are vying for the second placing in Italy Serie A to grant them automatic Champions League qualification.

A draw is a good result for Napoli but we cannot say the same for Milan as they trail Napoli by four points with six Italy Serie A matches remaining.

AC Milan’s Mathieu Flamini went from hero to villain as he gave Milan the lead in the 30th minutes but he was sent off in the second half. So Milan had to play with ten players for eighteen minutes.

Goran Pandev cancelled Flamini‘s goal with a 33rd minute equaliser.

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri still believes his side can make it into second place.

“With four points and six rounds to play there are still many chances for us to catch Napoli,” he said.

“Napoli are a side capable of defending their lead, but this is an important point for us, because we have maintained a certain distance from Fiorentina.

“Football is unpredictable, so we have to be wary. In any case, third place is a great achievement considering how we started the season.”

Meanwhile, Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri feels his side should have taken all three points from the clash.

“I am not remotely satisfied with the result, as we pegged Milan back in their own half and I really wanted to win this game,” he claimed.

“Looking at the incidents, we deserved a victory.

“Towards the end, when Milan went a man down, I really saw us coming away with all three points, but we weren’t clinical enough. We always allow our opponents more chances than we should.”

The home side looked more lively in the opening period and created their first real opportunity after 10 minutes.

Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis clumsily parried a Kevin-Prince Boateng shot across goal but there was no-one following up for what would have been a tap-in into an empty net.

Cristian Zapata headed over from a corner not long after, before Boateng poked a Kevin Constant cross from the left just wide of the far post.

The game sprang to life when Flamini struck from outside the area. The 29-year-old took advantage of some wonderful one-touch football from Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini to sidefoot past the outstretched De Sanctis into the bottom right corner.

However, Milan’s lead lasted barely three minutes as Pandev found himself unmarked in the Milan penalty area and smashed a low Marek Hamsik cross past the helpless Christian Abbiati.

Abbiati was called into action just before the break when he fingertipped an Edinson Cavani lob out of harms way.

A rash challenge by Flamini on Juan Zuniga heightened tensions between the two sides and the Milan midfielder was subsequently given his marching orders in the 72nd minute.

In the final moments, Lorenzo Insigne did have the chance to steal all three points for Napoli but his header from a Cavani cross went just wide.

Earlier on Sunday, a spectacular long range effort from Brazilian Matuzalem 10 minutes from time earned Genoa a vital point in their bid to avoid relegation after a 1-1 draw against derby rivals Sampdoria.

The result leaves the oldest team in Italy two points away from safety following Siena’s crucial 3-2 win at rock-bottom Pescara on Saturday.

Fellow strugglers Palermo also remain two points behind Siena as they drew 1-1 at home to Bologna.

In Trieste, a Mauricio Pinilla double for Cagliari condemned Inter Milan to a 2-0 defeat, their third in four matches.

Elsewhere, 10-man Roma defeated Torino 2-1 with Pablo Osvaldo heading home on 22 minutes for the visitors.

Rolando Bianchi equalised in the 31st minute with a close range effort, only for Erik Lamela to casually curl the ball into the top left corner from 25 yards out to snatch the winner.

Udinese beat Parma 3-0 with a double from Colombian Luis Muriel and another from Roberto Pereyra.

Chievo drew 0-0 with Catania as they all but secured their safety in Italy’s top division.

Italian Serie A results on Sunday:

Palermo 1 Bologna 1

Chievo 0 Catania 0

Cagliari 2 Inter Milan 0

Torino 1 Roma 2

Genoa 1 Sampdoria 1

Parma 0 Udinese 3

AC Milan 1 Napoli 1


Pescara 2 Siena 3

Atalanta 0 Fiorentina 2

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