In spite of a gruelling Europa League trip to Portugal in midweek and in spite of the many absences, AC Milan did not put a step wrong and maintained their winning run as they saw off Spezia in a dominant second-half display at San Siro. The Rossoneri won 3-0 at home thanks to a Leão brace and a goal from Theo Hernández. After a lacklustre first 45 minutes with very few chances, AC Milan raised their game in the second half and took all three points in a brilliant win. Coach Pioli's side are unbeaten going into the international break, with nine points from a possible nine, seven goals scored and none conceded. There was also time for a debut for Jens Petter Hauge. Now, we have a two-week break for an international window before the big one: the Derby takes place on Saturday 17 October at 18:00 CEST.
AC Milan, who started with a line-up containing seven players born since 1999 (an average age of 22 years and 287 days), started well and dominated possession, without creating too many chances to score. The guests, after starting on the back foot, grew into the game on the half-hour mark but lost Galabinov, who went off injured. The pressure on Spezia grew as the half wore on and the Rossoneri produced three decent chances. In the 34th minute, Calabria's inviting ball found Colombo at the near post but Erlic blocked Lorenzo's effort. In the 43rd minute, Saelemaekers' delightful cross towards Brahim Díaz was met by the Spaniard but the ball sailed high above the goal. One minute later, AC Milan looked dangerous down the right once again; Calabria found Saelemaekers, whose shot went over the bar.
In added time of the first half, Spezia looked to hit AC Milan on the break but Donnarumma thwarted Verdi's effort. The Rossoneri's first moment of joy in the second half came through Díaz, who wriggled free of the defence and fired just wide of the mark. The Rossoneri got their noses in front in the 57th minute; Çalhanoğlu whipped in the dead ball and Leão produced a smart finish to make it 1-0. Spezia attempted to react immediately: the substitute Agudelo forced Gigio into action in the 65th minute with a well-struck effort. Then, Hauge came on to make his debut and, after Leão's first goal of the season, Theo Hernández got in on the act too. In the 76th minute, the flying full-back intercepted Agudelo's pass and set off upfield, with options to his right he decided to go it alone and hit the ball across the keeper and into the bottom corner, 2-0. Minutes later it was three: Salemaekers' cross, Kessie's flick-on with his head, Leão with telling final touch: it ended 3-0 to AC Milan!
AC MILAN 3-0 SPEZIA
AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma G.; Calabria, Kjær, Gabbia, Hernández; Tonali (58' Bennacer), Krunić (58' Kessie); Saelemaekers, Díaz (71' Hauge), Leão (83' Maldini); Colombo (46' Çalhanoğlu). Subs.: Tătăruşanu, Donnarumma A.; Kalulu, Laxalt; Castillejo. Coach: Pioli.
Spezia (4-3-3): Rafael; Sala, Erlic, Chabot, Marchizza; Pobega (77' Mora), Ricci (59' Acampora), Maggiore; Verde (59' Agudelo), Galabinov (32' Piccoli), Gyasi (77' Bartolomei). Subs.: Krapikas, Desjardins, Agoume, Farias, Bastoni, Dell'Orco, Vignali. Coach: Italiano
Referee: Serra from Torino
Goal: 57' Leão (M), 76' Hernández (M), 78' Leão (M).
Booked: 32' Ricci (S), 40' Gyasi (S), 47' Çalhanoğlu (M)
Our new PUMA Kits for the 2020/21 season are now available: visit our AC Milan Online Store!