serie-a26 October 2020


AC Milan drop points for the first time this season as Roma fight back three times to claim a share of the spoils

It was a match that had everything. At San Siro, on matchday five in Serie A, AC Milan were held to a 3-3 draw by Roma, who became the first side to take points from the Rossoneri since the season began. Indeed, the Diavolo’s four-match winning run in the league came to an end after goals from Dzeko, Veretout and Kumbulla cancelled out those scored by Ibrahimović (a brace) and Saelemaekers. One player who particularly stood out was Leão, who impressed with the ball at his feet. Coach Pioli’s men will undoubtedly be feeling frustrated: they played the better football and deserved more. Furthermore, they took the lead on three occasions (1-0, 2-1, 3-2), only to be pegged back all three times. Ultimately, the Rossoneri paid the price for the penalty awarded to the Giallorossi and a fair few mistakes at the back, while they also missed a glorious chance to score deep into added time. It’s a shame, but the Diavolo once again showed what they’re all about: the team’s approach was excellent, they created chances, scored goals and produced an excellent performance, displaying an excellent mentality in the process. It’s just a point, but it’s also a precious one as AC Milan remain unbeaten at the top of the table (on 13 points, two ahead of Napoli and Sassuolo). Now, the Rossoneri need to recuperate and look ahead to the Europa League: at 18:55 CET on Thursday, Sparta Prague will be the visitors to San Siro on matchday two in Group H.


AC Milan took the lead with their first attack of the match: Leao found Ibrahimović in behind and the Swede did the rest, opening the scoring after just two minutes. Roma looked to respond, with Dzeko threatening for the first time in the ninth minute: the Bosnian striker cut inside from the left and was stopped in his tracks by an excellent challenge from Kjær. However, with 14 minutes on the clock, the away side grabbed an equaliser through Dzeko, who headed home after Tătărușanu had failed to get his hands to a Roma corner. AC Milan then regained the momentum, coming close through Çalhanoğlu after 22 minutes. As the match approached the half-hour mark, Theo Hernandez’s drilled effort was deflected just wide, while Kjær hit the post with a glancing header just moments later. Roma then did some attacking of their own, with Tătărușanu keeping out attempts from Ibanez and Pellegrini. With the half coming to an end, Mirante pushed away Çalha’s thunderous free-kick to keep the away side on level terms.

Just as they did in the opening period, the Rossoneri took a lightning-quick lead in the second half too. And Leão was once again the creator, with the Portuguese youngster bursting down the left and pulling the ball back for Saelemaekers to fire home after 47 minutes. In the 53rd minute, Dzeko failed to hit the target after a quick Roma counter. With the affair becoming increasingly heated, the Giallorossi were awarded a penalty following a coming together between Pedro and Bennacer in the box. Veretout stepped up to take and, despite Tătărușanu going the right way, managed to convert with 72 minutes on the clock. AC Milan were then awarded a spot-kick of their own after Mancini and Çalhanoğlu tangled in the box, with Ibrahimović making no mistake from twelve yards out to restore the Rossoneri’s one-goal advantage six minutes later. But just as it looked like Coach Pioli’s men were heading for another victory, they failed to deal with another Roma corner, allowing Kumbulla to find the net at the back post after 84 minutes. Despite the setback, AC Milan pushed forward once more and could have grabbed a winner, first through Çalhanoğlu and then through Romagnoli, who nodded inches wide with just seconds remaining. The match finished all square.


AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tătărușanu; Calabria, Kjær, Romagnoli, Hernández; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers (72' Krunić), Çalhanoğlu, Leão (72' Castillejo); Ibrahimović. Subs: A. Donnarumma, Jungdal; Conti, Dalot, Duarte, Kalulu; Díaz, Tonali; Colombo, Maldini. Coach: Pioli.

ROMA (3-4-2-1): Mirante; Mancini, Ibañez, Kumbulla; Karsdorp (66' Peres), Veretout (86' Villar), Pellegrini (76' Cristante), Spinazzola; Pedro, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko. Subs: López, Farelli; Jesus, Santon, Fazio; Mayoral, Providence. Coach: Fonseca.

Referee: Giacomelli from Trieste.
Goals: 2' and 79' pen. Ibrahimović (M), 14' Dzeko (R), 47' Saelemaekers (M), 71' pen. Veretout (R), 84' Kumbulla (R).
Booked: 70' Leão (M), 75' Ibrahimović (M), 77' Pedro (R), 81' Cristante (R), 82' Hernández (M).

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