Video: Rafael Leao destroys Napoli's defence with unreal driving run
Rafael Leao created a special Champions League moment, as he ran through Napoli's defence, to put AC Milan within touching dist ance of the final four.
When the quarter finals and semi finals of the Champions League were made last month, it instantly made Napoli one of the favourites to win it.
The runaway Serie A leaders were handed a quarter tie with AC Milan, leagues below them in Italy in the current campaign, with the chances of facing either Inter Milan or Benfica in the semis.
Luciano Spalletti's team could watch their main rivals for the European title take each other out on the opposite side of the draw, with as simple a run to the final, probably in Istanbul, possible.
However, things have changed in recent weeks, with Stefano Pioli's side handing out a 4-0 whopping on the Italian league leaders earlier this month.
That came just 10 days before their first meeting in the Champions League, and a Victor Osimhen-less Napoli weren't able to score in the first leg of the quarter final either.
Milan won 1-0 at the San Siro but must have known that a backlash was coming in the second leg, especially with Osimhen back in the team.
But instead it's the visitors in Naples who took a 1-0 lead in the first half, thanks to an unbelievable run from Leao, who ran from his own half before setting up Olivier Giroud with just minutes of the first half left.
Watch video below.., ...
Giroud wasn't going to miss that one!— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 18, 2023
Leão with one of the best solo runs you will ever see 😍#UCL pic.twitter.com/W4i9QLFnb2
Former Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger was full of praise for the Portugal forward, saying, "Rafael Leao‘s assist for Giroud was one of the best I have seen for a long time!!!! If Leao can prove his qualities more often he will be one of the Top-3 players in the world."
"Rafael Leao is too special, way too special. He has shown Kvaratskhelia serious level in this tie," said one fan.
"Oh my goodness - Rafael Leao. Sat here shouting progressively louder “what a run!” Outstanding," added another, painting a hilarious picture.
A third fan opined, "All-time run from Leao to feed Giroud. Elite combination of speed, skill and strength."
"Leao told Kvaratskhelia to come outside and I'm here for that chaotic energy," another pointed out, referencing the amazing season Napoli's own skillful forward has been having.
And another beautifully summed up the brilliance of the Portugal forward, noting, "Leao makes decisions in the final third like no other.
"He's so calm yet so devastating at the same time, and unlike most other elite players he's uniquely selfless. Combine that with his ability to lull defenders to sleep and blitz past them on either side and his ball-striking."
The goal came after Giroud had actually been given a perfect chance to double Milan's lead, when he had his penalty saved by Alex Meret.
However Leao's moment of genius once again showed that the 21 point gap between the two sides in the league meant nothing when it came to the Champions League.