Milan defends its income against a Naples that seeks to make history at Maradona


AC Milan seeks this Tuesday against Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium (9:00 p.m.), in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, to defend their minimal advantage from the first leg to seal their ticket to the semifinals, all against a rival that grabs hold of the return of Victor Osimhen to try to turn the tie around.

At least one Italian team will be in the penultimate round of the top continental competition after the game; the partenopean team is eager to reach the first semifinals in its history, while the ‘rossoneri’ aspire to defend their income and sneak into the top four on the continent 16 years later.

The leader of Serie A has already succumbed twice this month against the Milan fans, separated from the fight for the ‘Scudetto’ but who have known how to hit at the right time. Last week, 11 days after the spectacular league win at Maradona (0-4), a great goal from Ismaël Bennacer just before the break was enough for Stefano Pioli’s team to defeat the Neapolitan team (1-0) at San Siro.

Now, the seven-time European champion will have to make a good effort in the first leg to remain excited in a season in which only the move to the ‘semis’ would help temper spirits. In Serie A, the team is fighting for fourth place after winning just one of their last six games, with a draw full of substitutes on Saturday in Bologna (1-1).

On the horizon, his first pass to the semifinals since the 2006-07 academic year. The ‘rossoneri’ have only been eliminated on two occasions after winning the first match of a tie, and on both occasions against Spanish teams: in the quarterfinals of the 2003-04 season against RC Deportivo and in the 2012-13 round of 16 against FC Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Napoli hold on to their strength at home in European competition, where they have won all four of their games this season -and where they are unbeaten in their last 12 games-, to try to continue with a dream season, in which leads Serie A with a firm hand on the way to his first ‘Scudetto’ in 30 years.

With 14 points of income over second-ranked Lazio, Luciano Spalletti’s men have it in their hands to lift the league title, despite having failed in two of their last three games. Now, they must throw the rest in the maximum European competition.

The expulsion of the Cameroonian André-Frank Zambo Anguissa marked the first leg and will prevent the Partenopean coach from counting on him this Tuesday, where the South Korean Kim Min-Jae will not be, either, sanctioned. In exchange, the team recovers the Nigerian Victor Osimhen, the great absentee from the duel at San Siro due to injury.