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Osimhen’s late goal could not prevent Napoli from elimination from the UCL


Victor Osimhen’s header in stoppage time proved unable to send Napoli through against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on the night.

Milan qualified for the semi-finals with a 1-1 draw against Napoli, earning them a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Olivier Giroud scored just before halftime to send the seven-time champions through 2-1 on aggregate and end Napoli’s epic run.

Giroud scored the game-winning goal two minutes before halftime after a scorching run by Rafael Leao, who was instrumental in Milan’s third victory over Napoli this month.

Stefano Pioli’s side now faces a local rivalry in the last four after Inter Milan took a two-goal advantage into the second leg against Benfica on Wednesday night.

Milan have not played in a Champions League semi-final since being crowned European champions for the seventh and most recent time in 2007.

Osimhen scored in stoppage time, but it was insufficient for Napoli, who are sputtering as the season comes to a close.

Luciano Spalletti’s previously free-wheeling club is now battling for goals, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s penalty was saved with 10 minutes remaining, a miss that condemned his team to defeat.

Napoli are on the verge of winning their first league title since 1990, but after getting drawn on the easier side of the draw, their European journey came to an end on Tuesday.

Their ardent supporters had reached an agreement with owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, which had made the atmosphere at home matches toxic, and a crowded Stadio Maradona was initially in excellent voice on Tuesday.

Their squad was ready as well, charging straight towards Milan, dominating possession and forcing the opposition back towards the rumbling stands.

The best they could do were two long-range tries from Matteo Politano that slipped wide, and on Milan’s first genuine attack, Mario Rui clattered into Leao, giving Giroud the chance to give the away side a large advantage from the spot.

His feeble effort, though, was easily stopped by Alex Meret, whose save elicited a roar from the spectators, a spectacular save.

racket was replicated shortly after when he prevented Giroud from converting a more than respectable chance.

Napoli had scored at least three goals in all of their previous Champions League home games this season, but they struggled to come up with ideas against a well-organized Milan defence that kept a tight lid on Osimhen.

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