Napoli enjoyed a strong start and only needed five minutes to break the deadlock thanks to Elmas, who rose higher than everyone else following a corner and nodded the ball home from close range. Knowing they had to come from behind, Milan did not sit back and often tried to attack through Zlatan Ibrahimović, who was the hosts’ main attacking threat. The Swede came close to scoring in the 18th minute with a header that went slightly wide.
Milan lacked ideas during the majority of the first half but still had a few scoring opportunities. Alessandro Florenzi also came close to scoring in the 34th minute but his effort drifted wide. Napoli sat deeper and tried to play on the counter, but their efforts were not very dangerous following their early goal.
Indeed, the ‘Rossoneri’ started the second half with a more aggressive approach and increased the intensity in the opening minutes, with Ibrahimović and Brahim Díaz testing David Ospina. However, Napoli didn’t have problems recovering control of the game and the entrance of Stanislav Lobotka over Diego Demme allowed the ‘Partenopei’ to recover possession.
Napoli played the final minutes on the counter but could not take advantage of the chances they created, while Milan decided to send in numerous crosses looking to put pressure on the opposing defensive line. Milan thought they had snatched a point in the 90th minute, but Franck Kessié’s strike was ruled out for an offside earlier in the play. Luciano Spalletti’s men held on despite the late scare to secure a huge win that sees them leapfrog Milan in the Serie A title race.