Milan and Napoli still searching for winning formula after stalemate

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Milan and Napoli still searching for winning formula after stalemate

Serie A - AC Milan v Napoli

ROME (Reuters) - Struggling AC Milan and Napoli ground out a 1-1 Serie A draw at San Siro on Saturday that did little to help either side’s plight.

Hirving Lozano headed Napoli in front midway through the first half before Giacomo Bonaventura levelled with a powerful strike five minutes later.

Napoli have now failed to win any of their last six games in all competitions, their worst run since March 2013, while Milan coach Stefano Pioli has recorded one victory in six games since taking over from the sacked Marco Giampaolo in October.

“I was sure we’d put in the right performance," Pioli told Sky Italia. "We fought against a very strong team, even when missing some important players, but those who stepped in did very well.

“I wish we’d have scored another goal, because we had the chances and were just centimetres away from getting the victory."

Napoli remain seventh on 20 points. Milan are up to provisional 13th spot although their tally of 14 points after 13 games is the club's joint-worst in the three points for a win era, along with the 2013/14 season.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli side travelled to Milan in crisis, with Italian media saying club president Aurelio De Laurentiis was threatening to freeze the players' wages after they refused to attend a training retreat at the start of the month.

However, the visitors opened the scoring with their first chance when Lorenzo Insigne’s curling effort cannoned off the bar into the path of Lozano who headed home after 24 minutes.

Milan needed just five minutes to respond, though, as Bonaventura drilled the ball into the net from the edge of the box for his first Serie A goal since October 2018.

Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj’s botched clearance came within inches of creeping into his own net before Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma saved an Insigne effort just before the break.

There were few chances in a nervy second half, with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly doing well to block Krzysztof Piatek's goal-bound attempt and Donnarumma beating away Allan's dipping volley.


(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; editing by Tony Lawrence and Ken Ferris)