serie-a01 July 2020

AC MILAN SNATCH LATE POINT AGAINST SPAL

Leão and an injury-time Vicari own goal help the Rossoneri to a draw in Ferrara

On top for long periods of time, with a man extra for a considerable portion of the match, but it wasn't enough for AC Milan to take all three points in Ferrara. The Rossoneri can back from two goals down, thanks to Leão and an injury-time Vicari own goal, but they didn't manage to make it three wins in three, after successful outings against Lecce and Roma. In the Stadio Paolo Mazza, against SPAL, it was just a 2-2 draw. As it stood after half an hour, with AC Milan two goals down, a point seems both important and somewhat unexpected. Though, in light of the 39 attempts (both on and off target) and 17 corners accumulated throughout the 90 minutes, and also Letica's many saves, a draw is likely to leave a sour taste in the mouth. Zlatan Ibrahimović's return is certainly a high point, as he was subbed on by coach Pioli after 65 minutes. AC Milan end the matchday on 43 points and in seventh position. The Rossoneri now head into a run of three vital games against Lazio, Juventus and Napoli.

MATCH REPORT

After two attempts from Paquetá and Castillejo, SPAL took the lead in the 13th minute through Valoti. AC Milan put the pressure on, however, and two minutes later, Çalhanoğlu forced a save from Letica. In the 24th minute, Paquetá again had a go, this time directing a headed effort into the side netting. SPAL had their second real effort in the 29th minute and, incredibly, their second goal. Floccari's lob from over 30 metres out found the back of the net. Paquetá had another go with his right in the 33rd minute, but again Letica would not be bested. Çalhanoğlu seemed to have grabbed a goal back for the away side in the 36th minute, but Rebić was judged to have been offside and referee Mariani overturned his initial decision. The hosts went down to ten men with just three minutes of normal time left in the first half. D'Alessandro flew in on Theo and, after an initial decision of a yellow card, VAR intervened and the SPAL man was sent off. Çalhanoğlu's effort from the ensuing freekick hit the post. In the fifth minute of added time, Calabria went close to would have been a spectacular goal, but it was wide of the post.

AC Milan pushed to start the second half and Paquetá forced a good save from Letica. In the 57th minute, Vicari rescued his team by denying Saelemaekers' headed effort. After 65 minutes, as the battle on the pitch was hotting up, Ibra returned to the field. Zlatan had his first chance just five minutes later as he leapt to meet Saelemaekers' cross, but it was over the bar. AC Milan pressed high but Letica's form and various deflections didn't favour the Rossoneri. Finally, the goal. In the 79th minute, Leão halved the deficit with a low shot. Late on, first Ibra and then Gabbia both missed chances to equalise. Then, in the fourth minute of added time, a fortuitous own goal from Vicari made it 2-2 at full time.

MATCH DETAILS

SPAL 2-2 MILAN

SPAL (4-4-2): Letica; Tomović, Vicari, Bonifazi (67' Salamon), Sala; D'Alessandro, Valdifiori, Dabo (82' Cionek), Valoti (46' Fares) (75' Strefezza); Floccari (46' Missiroli), Petagna. Subs.:  Thiam, Meneghetti; Castro, Cerri, Cuellar, Felipe, Murgia, Reca, Tunjov. Coach: Di Biagio.

MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria (46' Leão), Gabbia, Romagnoli, Theo Hernández (65' Laxalt); Kessie, Bennacer (70' Bonaventura); Castillejo (16' Saelemaekers), Paquetá, Çalhanoğlu; Rebić (65' Ibrahimović). Subs.: Begović, A. Donnarumma; Conti, Kjær; Biglia, Krunić; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.

Referee: Mariani from Roma
Goals: 13' Valoti (S), 30' Floccari (S), 79' Leão (M), 94' aut. Vicari (M).
Booked: 45' Valdifiori (S), 58' Letica (S), 83' Dabo (S).
Sent off: 43' D'Alessandro (S)


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