ROME (AP) – Napoli remained perfect atop Serie A and came away from the San Siro with a 2-1 victory over AC Milan with goals from Miguel Britos and Gonzalo Higuain, while Mario Balotelli failed to convert a penalty kick for the first time in his career.
''We worked really well as a squad today and I think that's our strength,'' new Napoli coach Rafa Benitez said. ''We're still starting this job and we allowed a lot defensively tonight but beating a big squad like Milan at the San Siro is important.''
Britos put Napoli ahead six minutes in with a header following a free kick and Higuain doubled the lead in the 53rd with a long, low shot that Rossoneri goalkeeper Christian Abbiati got a hand on but wasn't able to stop.
Balotelli was 21-for-21 in his professional career from the penalty spot but Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina blocked his effort in the 61st after the striker was dragged down by Britos. Balotelli's shot wasn't perfectly placed to the corner and Reina guessed right as he lunged to his right.
''We knew Mario was very strong at the penalty lottery and we were a bit lucky,'' Reina said.
Balotelli was unfortunate again in the 71st when he hit the crossbar, although he finally found the target in added time with a splendid, curling, long-range effort.
Still, Milan dropped eight points back, and Balotelli picked up his second yellow card after the final whistle, for protests, and will miss the Rossoneri's next match.