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Football: Napoli coach Gattuso emotional at facing old club Milan but furious with own players after 2-2 draw

Football: Napoli coach Gattuso emotional at facing old club Milan but furious with own players after 2-2 draw

13/7/2020 1:55:00 PM

Football: Napoli coach Gattuso emotional at facing old club Milan but furious with own players after 2-2 draw

(REUTERS) - Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso said that facing his former club AC Milan for the first time made it an emotional night, while he was angry with his own players for not taking more of their chances in the 2-2 Serie A draw on Sunday (July 12).. Read more at straitstimes.com.

"The emotions were strong, it's the first time I have faced a team that made me a man and an important player," said the 42-year-old, who spent most of his playing career at Milan and also coached them for one-and-a-half seasons.Gattuso fired up his players with constant shouting which echoed around the deserted San Paolo stadium.

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"I have to get angry with my players, because when we create so much, we have to stick it in the net and instead we struggle. It seems we need six or seven chances to score."It's not just a problem for the forwards but also the others. We create, we get to the final 20 metres easily and then we keep getting it wrong. We have to improve."

Milan coach Stefano Pioli defended his goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was at fault for both Napoli goals."He's doing exceptionally well and I'm absolutely satisfied with his performances," he said.Pioli, whose side thumped leaders Juventus 4-2 on Wednesday, added that it was not easy playing twice a week, especially with high summer temperatures and after the three-month Covid-19 stoppage.

"It's difficult for everyone," he said."We came from a fantastic game and in the end we held our own well, especially in the second half."It's a shame we conceded the second goal when we were leading the game. I didn't see too many difficulties for my team, we were just imprecise in some choices."

The result kept Napoli sixth with 52 points with Milan two points below them in seventh, which will be enough for a Europa League place provided Napoli - who have already qualified as Coppa Italia winners - finish in the top six.Donnarumma started well as he made good saves from Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon while Lorenzo Insigne saw a deflected shot hit the post in early Napoli dominance.

But it was Milan who struck with their first real attack as Theo Hernandez volleyed in Ante Rebic's cross at the far post in he 20th minute.They led for only 14 minutes before an uncharacteristic mistake by Donnarumma, who failed to hold Insigne's free kick and the ball ran loose for Giovanni di Lorenzo to tap into an empty net.

Napoli went ahead on the hour when Callejon pulled the ball back for Mertens, who struck a weak shot towards goal which took a slight deflection and squirmed under Donnarumma.Milan levelled in the 73rd minute as Giacomo Bonaventura went down under a challenge from Nikola Maksimovic.

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The referee ignored Napoli demands to review the incident on the pitchside monitor and midfielder Franck Kessie sent David Ospina the wrong way from the spot.Milan played the last few minutes with 10 men after Alexis Saelemaekers was sent off after being booked twice in three minutes.

Read more: The Straits Times »

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