Rise of the south in Serie A as duo lead the way.
It’s been 27 years since Napoli last defeated AC Milan at San Siro, inspired to victory by Diego Maradona ahead of the most successful period in the club’s history.
However, that wait was ended on Sunday night as a new Argentinian hero staked his claim for a place in the hearts of the supporters with a goal which turned out to be the winner.
Gonzalo Higuain is seemingly settling into his new surroundings with ease, and having described Naples as being “a little like Buenos Aires”, he continues to find the back of the net with his third goal in as many games.
While Rafa Benitez claims that his side are still only performing “at 73 per cent” of their potential, he believes that as they continue to improve they will obtain victories with more confidence. The Rossoneri were perhaps slightly unfortunate on Sunday night, in a game which was remarkable in more than one way.
Aside from the visitors breaking their San Siro hoodoo, Mario Balotelli missed the first penalty of his career after 21 consecutive conversions. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old was at his brilliant best throughout, with former Milan star Zvonimir Boban labelling it as his best performance for the club to date in his post-match analysis.
However, his heroics were not enough for the hosts to avoid a second defeat of the season, as they now trail the leaders by eight points at this early stage of the season.
Joining Napoli at the top of the table are Roma, who also maintained their perfect start to the season and exorcised some Derby della Capitale demons with a 2-0 victory over bitter city rivals Lazio.
Rudi Garcia is masterminding a real turnaround in fortunes, but in a week that saw president James Pallotta fly in from the USA, Francesco Totti sign a new deal and the Giallorossi pick up their fourth straight win, the French tactician will be delighted with his early progress.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Juventus and Fiorentina as they keep the pressure on the leading duo, while there was a goal-scoring return for Diego Milito who bagged a brace in a 7-0 win for Inter Milan after a seven-month injury lay-off.
There was tension, goals and tears this weekend in Italy, and the stars will be back in action for a mid-week round starting on Tuesday night.
Serie A Results: Cagliari 2-2 Sampdoria; Chievo 2-1 Udinese; Genoa 0-0 Livorno; Sassuolo 0-7 Inter; Roma 2-0 Lazio; Atalanta 0-2 Fiorentina; Bologna 1-2 Torino; Catania 0-0 Parma; Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona; AC Milan 1-2 Napoli.