Heart, determination, quality and... missed opportunities. There was a little bit of everything in the night at San Siro that saw AC Milan and Verona draw 2-2 on matchday 7 in Serie A. The guests had a strong opening 20 minutes, after which AC Milan took control for the remainder of the clash. Pioli's team played a good game overall, creating a lot, but wasting in a resounding way the most important chances made during the game. On evenings like this, one can see that coming back from 0-2 after just 20 minutes is a sign of strength; a show of development and growth.
Towards the end of the game, it was Zlatan who headed in his eighth goal this season in the league. Every game he shows himself to be ever more important and ever more decisive. The Swede missed a penalty kick in the middle of the second half, that, should he have scored it, would have surely given AC Milan a shot at a different ending to the game. Pioli's boys, however, had the strength and character not to drop their heads, and continued to push hard through the game and create chances. The point earned from the clash leaves the table substantially unchanged, with the Diavolo first in the league with 17 points, two ahead of Sassuolo. Now comes the international break, after which the Rossoneri return for an important match: On Sunday 22 November, at 20:45 CET, they will face Napoli. This will be another test for AC Milan to gauge their ambitions.
THE STORY OF THE GAME
Following Romagnoli's injury during the warm-up, Coach Pioli started Matteo Gabbia from the first minute. At the start of the game, the guests began strong, scoring after the sixth minute when Barák beat Donnarumma with a close-range finish. The goal shook AC Milan, who one minute later tried to find an equaliser through Saelemaekers from the edge of the area, only for it to be saved by Silvestri. However, in the 19th minute, AC Milan conceded again: Following a free-kick by Dimarco, Calabria saw the ball deflect off him into the back of the net to make the score 0-2 after a right-footed touch by Zaccagni. Pioli’s boys, however, found the strength to react and in the 27th minute they closed the gap with an own goal from Magnani leading on from a Saelemaekers cross: 1-2 and it was all to play for at San Siro. Two minutes later, again the Diavolo went on the attack, this time with Hernández who came face to face with Silvestri but saw his shot deflect off the goalkeeper’s body.
In the second half, Rebić came on in place of Saelemaekers for AC Milan. In the 64th minute, Rebić exchanged passes with Hernández, who once again found his efforts stopped by Silvestri. A minute passed and a huge opportunity came for the Rossoneri: Kessie was fouled in the penalty area by Lovato. A penalty was awarded. Ibra shot from twelve yards but sent the ball over the crossbar. The Swede continued his influence in the game, striking the post in the 75th minute with a brilliant header. Silvestri's goal seemed impenetrable and the night seemed to be getting away from AC Milan. However, in added time at the end of the second half after Calabria saw his goal disallowed, AC Milan pushed forward at the death and in the 93rd minute secured a well-deserved draw with a close-range headed finish from Ibra who tucked the ball neatly into the corner. The equaliser then saw the match conclude 2-2.
AC MILAN 2-2 HELLAS VERONA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjær, Romagnoli, Hernández; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers (46' Rebić), Çalhanoğlu (87' Hauge), Leão (79' Díaz); Ibrahimović. Subs.: A. Donnarumma, Tătărușanu, Conti, Dalot, Duarte, Gabbia, Castillejo, Krunić, Tonali. Coach: Pioli.
HELLAS VERONA (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Ceccherini, Lovato, Magnani (73' Cetin); Lazović, Dawidowicz (63' Tameze), Ilić (69' Udogie), Dimarco; Barák, Zaccagni; Kalinić (64' Colley). Subs.: Borghetto, Pandur, Amione, Empereur, Cancellieri, Terracciano, Di Carmine, Salcedo. Coach: Jurić.
Referee: Marco Guida from Torre Annunziata.
Goalscores: 6' Barák (V), 19' o.g. Calabria (V), o.g. 27' Magnani (M), 93' Ibrahimović (M).
Booked: 33' Ceccherini (V), 42' Lovato (V), 54' Bennacer (M), 91' Tameze (V).
Notes: Ibrahimović (M) missed a penalty on the 67'.
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