In the second minute of stoppage time at the San Siro on Sunday, Napoli’s Serie A title challenge was on the left foot of Arkadiusz Milik. And of all the places it could have been, on the left foot of Milik – six yards away from goal, smack dab in the center of the field – would have been as preferable as any.
The Polish striker had three points at his mercy. Or so he thought. He had pressure on his shoulders. With one swing of his left boot, he could have sent all of that pressure hurtling across Italy toward Juventus later in the day.
And in any normal world, with only mortals standing in his way, that’s what Milik would have done. He picked out the right side netting. He fired a side-footed shot toward it.
And the big paw of Gianluigi Donnarumma somehow was equal to it:
WHAT A SAVE
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 15, 2018
Donnarumma is 19 years old. That we know. What we didn’t know is that he is superhuman. He pulled off a stunning save – a mixture of anticipation, athleticism and reflexes – to deny Napoli a dramatic victory.
The match finished 0-0, and effectively put Napoli six points behind Serie A leader Juventus, which later won at home against Sampdoria as expected 3-0 thanks to goals from Mario Mandzukic, Benedikt Howedes and Sami Khedira. Juve’s difficult remaining fixture list means it’s not quite the end of the title race. But it’s certainly a step in that direction.
And only because Donnarumma produced the save of the season in the moment that could define it.
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