Atalanta hold Milan 1-1, Napoli beat Monza 4-0 in Serie A


Monza’s Andrea Petagna, right, and Napoli’s Kim Min Jae battle for the ball during the Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Monza at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Naples, Italy on Sunday August 21, 2022. (Alessandro Garofalo/ LaPresse via AP)


Atalanta held defending champions AC Milan 1-1 in their Serie A clash on Sunday, while Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia netted twice to lead Napoli to a 4-0 win over the promoted Monza.

Kvaratskhelia, 21, who also scored on his league debut in Napoli’s 5-2 win over Hellas Verona, has taken his tally to three goals in two games since joining from Dinamo Batumi. Kvaratskhelia had played for Russian team Rubin Kazan until March, but joined Batumi after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Napoli dominated the first half in their first league game at home this season, but their fans had to wait until the 35th minute for Kvaratskhelia to unblock the Monza defense with a shot curled from range into the right post.

Victor Osimhen ran to the right and held off a defender to make it 2-0 in first-half added time.

Osimhen headed just after the break before Kvaratskhelia produced another brilliant moment to score in the 62nd. Facing two defenders, he evaded both before shooting inside the far post.

Andrea Petagna thought he pulled one back for Monza but the goal was ruled out by VAR for a foul.

South Korean defender Kim Min-jae completed the scoring with a header in the third minute of added time.


Milan were frustrated by a stubborn defense from Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta side, who took the lead with a ferocious shot from Ruslan Malinovskyi in the 29th minute.

Joakim Maehle pushed the ball away for the Ukrainian to clear the ball with his preferred left foot past Milan keeper Mike Maignan with the help of a slight deflection.

Malinovskyi’s inclusion in the starting line-up came as a surprise amid transfer speculation linking him to Tottenham, Nottingham Forest and Marseille. Reports had also suggested he was no longer supportive of the coach.

Gasperini’s side were pushed back for much of the game, but their defense managed to contain most of the danger as the visitors struggled to break through.

Maignan thwarted Mario Pasalic with a fine save early in the second half, before his Atalanta counterpart Juan Musso brilliantly managed to deny Sandro Tonali one-on-one. The Milan midfielder should have scored.

The pressure from the visitors finally paid off when Ismael Bennacer equalized with a brilliant shot at the far post in the 68th minute.

Fiorentina drew 0-0 at Empoli in their Tuscan derby. Empoli defender Sebastiano Luperto was sent off in the 66th minute for a tactical foul on Luka Jovic. Empoli ended the match with nine players due to an injury to Nicolo Cambiaghi.

Moreover, Bologna drew with Verona 1-1.


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Lynn A. Saleh