Derby winner Rafael Liao was his third of the season
Milan (AFP) – Rafael Leao fired a warning shot for the rest of Serie A on Saturday with his double in Milan’s 3-2 derby win over Inter Milan, which put his side level with league leaders Napoli, 2-1 thanks to Lazio. For the rising star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored his fourth goal of the season when Napoli beat Lazio Christian Kwame’s equalizer was his first goal of the season
The Portuguese winger Liao scored twice in each half in a thrilling encounter at the San Siro, the first since Redbird took Milan in the week, putting the champions one point ahead of Atalanta and Roma at the top.
Fans bounced back in the stands after a thrilling match filled with a goal accident that was decided by Liao and Olivier Giroud, who, after Marcel Brozovic’s opener in the 21st minute for Inter, Milan scored two goals for the better in the space of an hour.
“If you want to improve, you need talent and intelligence, and Leao has both,” said Pioli.
“Every time we put him in individual situations he is a huge weapon for us.”
However, they also had the superb Mike Mainan to thank for the three points after the France goalkeeper made four superb stops from Lautaro Martinez, Eden Dzeko – also top scorer – and Hakan Calhanoglu.
The second defeat in five matches leaves Inter without the injured Romelu Lukaku in sixth place, with nine points with Juventus, who lost in a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.
The exciting showdown that started with the usual amazing pre-match performances from the crowd took off to a higher level in the second half.
Giroud put Milan ahead in the 54th minute in a fortunate fashion when he met Liao’s indomitable low pass with a perfect shot past Samir Handanovic.
Then Liao nearly went home six minutes later, and a run to Handanovic left him just yards from goal where he made no mistake.
Substitute Dzeko reduced the goal after seven minutes, then Minyan stepped in to keep Inter up and ensure Milan had the bragging rights of the locals and the lead.
Napoli lead AC Milan on goal difference after new boy Khafisha Kvaratskhelia continued his thrilling start in Italy with the winner in Lazio, seventh after his first defeat of the season.
Luciano Spalletti’s side were undefeated with 11 points thanks to a tough win in Rome as they fought back from behind after just three minutes after Mattia Zacanini’s opener for the hosts.
The away team equalized seven minutes through Kim Min Jae, whose powerful header from a Peter Zelensky corner kick crossed the goal line in the best efforts of Lazio striker Ivan Providel.
Napoli came out with all the guns burning after the break and came close through Zelensky, Victor Osimhen hitting the post and Kvaratskhelia’s first shot from Zelensky’s cross that shaved the crossbar.
However, Kvaratskhelia was not denied and scored the winning goal for Napoli and fourth of the season in the 61st minute when André-Frank Zambo’s retreat met Anguisa with a stunning effort that Providel could do nothing against.
Juventus also had the opportunity to temporarily rise to the top of the Italian league against fierce rivals Fiorentina, but after his lead in the ninth minute through Arcadius Milik in his first participation with Juventus, they failed to win.
They could count themselves lucky as they left Florence with a draw after Christian Kwame equalized midway through the first half and Mattia Perin sent Luka Jovic’s penalty kick to the post shortly before the break.
“The players played well, I saw good commitment and we kept our five-game unbeaten run going,” said Allegri, who is under pressure from fans after a series of boring performances.
Juventus had made their first signing of Leandro Paredes while Angel Di Maria returned after recovering from a thigh injury, but they missed the spark in their third draw in five league matches.
A poor performance in which Milik’s goal was his only shot on target is not a good omen for Juventus ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League Group H opener at Paris Saint-Germain
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored his fourth goal of the season when Napoli beat Lazio
Christian Kwame’s equalizer was his first goal of the season