February 24, 2024

EAST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - OCTOBER 14: Christian Pulisic #10 of the United States celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half of an international friendly match against Germany at Pratt & Whitney Stadium on October 14, 2023 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Christian Pulisic provided a huge assist, but neither Milan nor Napoli could take advantage in a match that was there for the taking.

Milan scored two first-half goals, with Giroud on the end of both, as Stefano Pioli’s side looked set for a massive Serie A win. It was a tale of two halves, though, as Napoli fought back in the second 45 to make it 2-2.

 

Despite chances to win it on both sides, the two teams split the points in a match that could be remembered as key to the Serie A title race.

 

 

WHAT HAPPENED?

Milan got off to a dream start, scoring twice within nine minutes to seize control at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

 

Both goals came from Giroud, and both goals involved Americans in the build-up. The first was a direct assist from Christian Pulisic, who looped in a perfect cross right onto the head of the Frenchman. Giroud’s header was right at Alex Meret, but the Napoli goalkeper just couldn’t keep it out.

 

Musah was somewhat involved in the leadup to the second, as the American was dribbling on that right-hand side before being dispossessed. The ball fell to Davide Calabria, who then proceeded to find Giroud yet again to make it 2-0.

 

In the second half, though, Napoli looked like a new team, having been played off the field in the first half. They got a goal back relatively quickly, as Mateo Politano scored in the 50th minute to seize momentum. By the time Giacomo Raspadori scored in the 63rd to make it 2-2, the pendulum had swung all the way in Napoli’s favor.

 

A late dismissal of Napoli’s Natan gave Milan hopes of stealing it late, but neither side could quite find a winner as the two split points.

 

Despite a fantastic first half performance. Pulisic was removed at halftime with what appeared to be a precautionary substitution. The American didn’t appear to pick up any sort of injury but, having played multiple matches for club and country in recent weeks, Stefano Pioli may have just been opting to give the winger a few minutes of rest with his side firmly in control.

 

That control, though, evaporated once Pulisic was taken off for Luka Romero. Napoli fought back almost immediately, shaking up the Serie A title picture in the process.

 

With the draw, Milan remain in third, missing out on the chance to leapfrog Juventus into second place behind fierce rivals Inter. Napoli, meanwhile, are just behind them in fourth, although last season’s champions remain four points back.

 

Pulisic remains in great form and continues to build himself up for club and country.

 

Since the start of the Serie A season, he how has four goals and two assists for Milan as well as three goals and an assist for the USMNT. It’s a far cry from his Chelsea form as Pulisic is finally shining for both club and country.

 

As for Musah, he continues to have the trust of Pioli, who has kept the American in his starting XI for several big matches. It’s a good sign for the young midfielder, who is developing plenty already as he adjusts to the increased responsibility he’s being handed at Milan.

 

 

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