Serie A - Milan miss top spot in stalemate

Eurosport - Sun, 21 Mar 16:32:00 2010

Milan missed the opportunity to top Serie A as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Napoli.

Milan v Napoli March 2010 - 0

Hugo Campagnaro stunned the Rossoneri when he rolled the ball into an unguarded goal from Ezequiel Levezzi's pass, but Fillipo Inzaghi headed the hosts level from close range on 26 minutes.

Milan made a host of chances in the second half as they chased a winner, but were unable to find the elusive goal to overhaul their neighbours at the top of the league.

Internazionale opened the door for the Rossoneri with a 1-1 draw at Palermo on Saturday, and Thiago Silva's long-range effort suggested Milan would take their chance with both hands.

But it was Napoli who struck first on 14 minutes.

Lavezzi beat the Milan offside trap and as he was closed down, he rolled the ball back to Campagnaro who had the easiest of finishes.

Napoli continued to press and Mathieu Flamini's excellent last-ditch tackle prevented a possible second for Fabio Quagliarella before Christian Abbiati twice denied Levezzi.

But the Rossoneri made the visitors pay for the missed opportunities on 26 minutes when Ronaldinho celebrated his 30th birthday with a curling cross which Inzaghi headed home.

As the match opened up, Quagliarella almost steered a near-post header on target and Marek Hamsik tried a long-range drive which flew narrowly over Abbiati's bar.

Ronaldinho had an opportunity to put the Rossoneri ahead at the break, but his shot from the edge of the area lacked the power to test Morgan De Sanctis.

Milan substitute Mancini had an early sighter in the second period only to scuff his shot, but Inzaghi came within inches of giving Milan the lead when he just failed to connect with Clarence Seedorf's driven pass.

Inzaghi was again left holding his head when De Sanctis somehow stuck out a leg to divert his shot away, before Quagliarella headed over in a rare second half foray for Napoli.

De Sanctis again showed his quick reactions when he smothered a quickly-taken free-kick at Inzaghi's feet, but Quagliarella showed Napoli were still in the match with a shot from six yards which was blocked by the onrushing Abbiati.

As Milan pressed, last week's hero Seedorf set up Mancini only for his shot to ricochet off the chest of De Sanctis, but the keeper almost undid all his good work when he fumbled Andrea Pirlo's 89th minute free-kick.

There was one last heart-stopping moment for Napoli when De Sanctis palmed the ball straight to Ronaldinho, but the Brazilian was crowded out by a resilient defence and Milan were forced to settle for a point.

Fourth-bottom Lazio opened up a four-point cushion above the drop zone after forwards Tommaso Rocchi and Sergio Floccari scored in a 2-0 win at Cagliari, whose fans will now be given refunds for the defeat under a club initiative.

Atalanta moved up to third bottom and the final relegation spot with a 3-0 victory at home to Livorno, who now prop up the league ahead of Wednesday's trip to Inter.

Second-bottom Siena are level on points with Atalanta following a 1-0 home win over Bologna while Catania are far from safe in 15th after a 1-1 draw at Chievo.

Ian Hare / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account