x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

AC Milan's Serie A lead down to three points

Genoa hold league leaders to a 1-1 draw as Napoli defeat Cesena 2-0

AC Milan was held to a 1-1 draw at Genoa on Sunday, cutting their Serie A lead to three points after Napoli beat Cesena 2-0 at home.

Alexandre Pato opened the scoring for Milan, but Antonio Floro Flores equalised with his first Genoa goal since joining during the transfer window.

For Napoli, Cavani scored early and Jose Sosa added a second goal in injury time.

"Napoli are a top team and playing very well," Milan coach Massimo Allegri said. "We know with Napoli breathing down our necks we cannot relax for the rest of the season."

Third-place Lazio also let a one-goal lead slip, drawing 1-1 at home to Chievo. Hernanes opened the scoring in first-half injury time for the hosts, before Bostjan Cesar levelled for Chievo midway through the second period.

Milan began slowly, but took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Zlatan Ibrahimovic slipped the ball across goal, Pato took one touch before sidefooting the ball past goalkeeper Eduardo.

The Brazilian wasted a chance to double his tally shortly after. Robinho crossed from the left but, as Pato was shaping to shoot, Dario Dainielli got back to clear for a corner.

Genoa made Milan pay immediately, Floro Flores equalising after he was first to a loose ball in the box.

"We know that there is a lot of work left to do and a lot of games remaining," Allegri said. "In the first half today, we played well and created chances. But in the second, we were too rushed, weren't able to create chances and gave the ball away too much."

Cavani hit his 18th goal of the season to give Napoli the lead in the 13th minute. Marek Hamsik slipped the ball to Christian Maggio, who cut it back for Cavani to poke in at the near post.

Four minutes into the second half, Napoli thought they had scored a second, but Maggio's header was ruled out despite replays showing that the ball and Cesena goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli had been behind line when he pushed it away.

Sosa added a second late on when he slid in and hooked home Giuseppe Mascara's low cross.

"We were just concentrating on what we were doing," Cavani said. "We didn't hear about the Milan result until we got into the changing room. Of course it is good, but we still have a long way to go in the season."