With 10 Serie A matches remaining, AC Milan is top of the table following Sunday's nervy 1-0 victory over Napoli at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Inter is two points back of Milan and maintains a game in hand, but the Rossoneri are one step closer to a first Scudetto since 2011 while Napoli, which entered the match level on points with Milan, likely now sees its wait for a first league title since 1990 extended.
The moment of the match was provided by Olivier Giroud in the 49th minute.
The 35-year-old has been massive positive for the club in 2022 with Zlatan Ibrahimović missing significant time because of an Achilles problem. It was Grioud who, back in January, provided a goal and assist in Milan's crucial win over Roma, and then the Frenchman scored an incredible brace in the 2-1 comeback victory over Inter on Feb. 5.
Ibrahimović returned to the bench Sunday after missing the last four games, so it was again Giroud who led the line and shouldered Milan's fragile title dream.
It felt like a final in Naples, and the first half was appropriately tense, physical and cagey with the main talking point being a potential foul on Napoli's Victor Osimhen in the Milan area that the referee and VAR ignored.
But four minutes into the second half, Giroud redirected Davide Calabria's wayward effort on frame and past David Ospina. It's his eighth goal in 19 league appearances since arriving in July.
What a time for Olivier Giroud to score his first goal outside of the San Siro! pic.twitter.com/RILauBlYcN— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 6, 2022
Look what it means to Oliver Giroud!A statement win for Milan. ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/PmCZgcXBww
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 6, 2022
Milan can put more pressure on Inter by beating Empoli on March 12. Inter plays Liverpool in the Champions League on March 8 before returning to league play on March 13 against Torino.