Milan, Napoli play to 1-1 draw

Posted by ESPN Stats & Information

AC Milan and Napoli played to a 1-1 draw today, the third straight draw between the two clubs over the last two seasons. Napoli stays four points clear of AC Milan in second place while Milan’s lead on Fiorentina for third has shrunk to four points.

Here’s a look at an area where both teams struggled today as well as what the Soccer Power Index thinks of both team’s Champions League chances.

Neither team was particularly effective in the penalty area today. Napoli recorded 12 touches in the penalty area, but only 2 shots on target (including Goran Pandev’s goal). None of Milan’s 15 touches in the penalty area resulted in a shot on target. Both teams were unable to muster a shot on target from the penalty area in the second half and both teams finished the half with only one shot on target.

Milan’s struggles continued against the top sides in Serie A. Milan has won only once in its last six encounters against Juventus and Napoli dating back to last season. Last season, Milan was 1-3-4 against teams that finished in the top five of the Serie A table, and this season Milan is 2-2-3 against teams that occupy the top five spots in the table.

For the second straight match, Milan dropped points despite scoring first. Against Fiorentina on April 7, Milan took a 2-0 lead before ultimately drawing 2-2 with the Viola. It also marked the third time in the last seven matches that Milan has dropped points after scoring first.

Milan remained unbeaten in 2013 (9-0-5) through 14 matches. Across the top five leagues in Europe, only German champions Bayern Munich (12-0-0) and France’s St. Etienne (7-0-6) have yet to lose a game this year. Napoli has lost only once in this calendar year, going 7-1-6 and earning 27 points, tied for second-most in Serie A with Juventus.

Soccer Power Index (SPI) gives Napoli a 98.9% chance of qualifying for the Champions League overall and an 85.0% chance of earning the second automatic qualification spot in Serie A. AC Milan’s chances to qualify for the Champions League dropped from 91.7% entering the match, but the Rossoneri still earn a Champions League spot in 84.5% of SPI’s simulations.

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