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Serie A: Gattuso’s Napoli draw 2-2 against AC Milan

Gattuso had both played for and coached Milan but had never faced the Rossoneri since leaving by mutual consent at the end of last season.

Updated: Jul 13, 2020, 06:15 IST

By Associated Press, MILAN

AC Milan's Theo Hernandez (10) is congratulated after a goal against Napoli during a Serie A soccer match at San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Italy, Sunday, July 12, 2020. (Spada/LaPresse via AP) (AP)

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso’s first-ever match against AC Milan ended in a 2-2 draw in Serie A on Sunday. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Dries Mertens scored for Napoli to cancel out Theo Hernández’s opener but Franck Kessié leveled from the penalty spot 17 minutes from time. Napoli remained sixth in the Italian league, two points above Milan.

Gattuso had both played for and coached Milan but had never faced the Rossoneri since leaving by mutual consent at the end of last season.

There was a touching moment before the match when Gattuso embraced Milan technical director Paolo Maldini, who he played with at Milan for 10 years.

“There are so many emotions, because it’s the first time I faced the team that made me become a man and made me win so much,” Gattuso said.



“But I’m angry tonight with my players, because when you create seven to eight chances you need to score. It’s not just a problem with the forwards, we easily get to within 18-20 meters of the goal, but we still make so many mistakes and we need to improve.”

Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma pulled off two superb saves before his side went ahead against the run of play in the 20th with Hernández volleying in Ante Rebić’s cross.

Napoli leveled 14 minutes later when Donnarumma could only parry Lorenzo Insigne’s free kick into the path of Di Lorenzo, who tapped in the rebound.

And the hosts went ahead on the hour mark as José Callejón pulled the ball back for Mertens whose effort squirmed under Donnarumma at his near post.

Milan had not lost since the restart and leveled when Giacomo Bonaventura was tripped in the box by Nikola Maksimović and Kessié converted the resulting penalty.

Milan played the final few minutes with 10 men after midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers was sent off following two bookings in three minutes.

RELEGATION FIGHT

Genoa improved its chances of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 win over last-place Spal.

Goran Pandev and Lasse Schöne scored in each half and Genoa also had a penalty saved.

It was Genoa’s first win since the restart and lifted the team out of the relegation zone. Genoa is one point above Lecce which hit the woodwork twice in a 0-0 draw at Cagliari.

Spal is 11 points from safety with six matches remaining.

The match in Genoa was played at a sluggish pace, with temperatures topping 30 degrees Celsius (90 F) .

Pandev fired Genoa in front in the 24th minute and the hosts had a great chance to double their lead 13 minutes later but Iago Falque had his weak penalty saved by Spal goalkeeper Karlo Letica after Arkadiusz Reca tripped Francesco Cassata.

Genoa did get a second shortly after halftime when Schöne curled a magnificent free kick into the top corner.

It could have had a third moments later but Andrea Pinamonti hit the post.

OTHER MATCHES

Federico Bonazzoli scored a spectacular goal six minutes from time to help Sampdoria to a vital 3-1 win at fellow struggler Udinese.

Bonazzoli acrobatically volleyed in Samp’s second goal with a scissor-kick. Bram Nuytinck thought he had equalized moments later but it was ruled out for handball.

Samp moved level on points with Udinese, six points above Lecce.

Davide Faraoni also scored in similarly impressive fashion to help Hellas Verona draw 1-1 at Fiorentina, which leveled with practically the last kick of the match.

Parma scored two stoppage-time goals to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Bologna.

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