At San Siro, AC Milan made light work of Crotone and returned to the top of the table in a 4-0 victory. A clear win, but it wasn't plain sailing until the second half: in the first 45 minutes, the Calabrian outfit made things difficult, but in the second – following changes for both sides, most notably Çalhanoğlu coming on and Ounas going off – the Rossoneri dominated. Ibrahimović and Rebić were decisive, netting a brace each; Zlatan got the two most important goals, the first and second, reaching and then surpassing the 500 goals mark in his club career. The team performance was lacklustre at times, but it was enough for them to win and keep a clean sheet. Zlatan and Ante stood out, as did Hernández and Meïte, and Çalhanoğlu made a good return to the starting line-up with two assists. With Serie A matchday 21 now behind us, the Rossoneri prove again that it’s lonely at the top, now on 49 points. Next up for AC Milan: on Saturday 13 February at 20:45 CET, they take on Spezia away from home. Well done, lads!
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FOR AC MILAN V CROTONE
The game began with high shots by Meïte in the first minute and Ounas in the fourth minute. In the sixth minute, Calabria put the ball in the back of the net but the goal was disallowed due to an Ibrahimović offside. Crotone started courageously and dangerously: eight minutes in, Ounas’s shot forced a save from Donnarumma; ten minutes in, a Di Carmine header from the middle of the area went just wide. The Rossoneri then switched on: in the 11th minute, Leão almost scored with a header after a powerful cross from Hernández, but Golemić sacrificed his body to get in the way; at 16', Cordaz saved a close header from Calabria. Ibra opened the scoring in the 30th minute, thanks to a brilliant assist from Leão, finishing off a good move down the channel with a precise right-footed shot. The game was anything other than simple, half time.
Saelemaekers made way for Castillejo at the start of the second half. AC Milan worked hard to carve chances and Meïte had a go from distance. Then, AC Milan hit the gas; Cordaz made a miraculous save to deny Leão on the hour mark before Hernández fired just wide. These were signs of things to come and the Rossoneri doubled their lead in the 64th minute; Theo played a one-two with Rebić and then fed Ibrahimović for the tap-in at the back post. Then, it was Ante's turn to score, bagging two goals in the space of one minute: in the 69th minute, he headed home from Çalhanoğlu, then, in the 70th minute, he finished from Çalha's ball in. In the final moments of the game, Cordaz denied Ibrahimović, Castillejo and Mandžukić, avoiding an even bigger scoreline. Full time.
AC MILAN 4-0 CROTONE
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernández; Meïte, Kessie (87' Krunić); Saelemaekers (46' Castillejo), Leão (62' Çalhanoğlu), Rebić (77' Hauge); Ibrahimović (77' Mandžukić). Subs: A. Donnarumma, Tătărușanu; Dalot, Gabbia, Kalulu; Krunić; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
CROTONE (3-5-2): Cordaz; Djidji, Golemić, Luperto; Rispoli, Benali (72' Eduardo), Zanellato, Vulić (78' Petriccione), Pereira; Di Carmine (78' Simy), Ounas (63' Rivière). Subs: Crespi, Festa; D'Aprile, Magallán, Marrone; Eduardo, Reca, Rojas. Coach: Stroppa.
Referee: Pairetto from Turin.
Goals: 30' and 64' Ibrahimović (M), 69' and 70' Rebić (M).
Booked: 36' Saelemaekers (M), 73' Rispoli (C), 81' Romagnoli (M), 86' Calabria (M).
Do you want to be at the side of the Rossoneri at San Siro? Find out how to do so on together.acmilan.com!