Ismael Bennacer’s first-half goal gave AC Milan a slender advantage over Napoli in the first leg of their all-Italian Champions League quarter-final last night at San Siro.
The Algeria midfielder struck home from the edge of the area after Braham Diaz broke superbly on the halfway line.
Napoli had Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa sent off in the second half and were well held by an organised Milan.
Milan also came close to a second goal when Simon Kjaer’s header bounced off the underside of the bar.
Napoli, in the Champions League last eight for the first time, were straight out of the traps, demonstrating a belief that comes from being 16 points clear at the top of Serie A.
Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had their best chance of the game in the opening minute after a poor clearance fell at his feet, but his effort from eight yards out was blocked on the line.
Napoli, the highest scorers in the competition this season, continued to push, with former Fulham midfielder Anguissa and Piotr Zielinski having efforts tipped over the bar.
Elsewhere, Chelsea have it all to do if they are to advance to the Champions League semi-finals after losing 2-0 to holders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema’s tap-in – his 90th goal in the competition – gave Real boss Carlo Ancelotti the perfect start against his former club.
Real Madrid struggled to add to their lead before Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card in the 59th minute for fouling Rodrygo as the Brazil forward threatened to go clean through on goal.
Chelsea produced a battling performance but Real scored what could be a decisive second goal when substitute Marco Asensio finished well after the visitors were caught out following a short corner.