serie-a21 March 2021


Çalhanoğlu bags the winner in a back-and-forth clash in Florence

A hugely important win, one of the most precious of the whole season: immediately after Europa League elimination, at home of a strong and fit team, via a comeback. AC Milan won 3-2 at the Franchi in Florence after a truly enthralling clash full of twists and turns, with decisive goals from Ibrahimović, Díaz and Çalhanoğlu (Pulgar and Ribéry found the net for La Viola). The Rossoneri found themselves 1-0 up, then down 2-1 at the start of the second half. In the end, they had enough strength to fight back and claim the final victory. A positive result of enormous value, which comes as no surprise when broken down to look at the individual performances involved: from Ibra to Çalha, Bennacer’s passing, and two excellent performances by the pair of Kjær and Tomori.



The first chance fell for La Viola, a looping header from Cáceres which was decisively headed clear off the line by Tomori. The Rossoneri response is lethal: A precise ball over the top from Kjaer in the 9th minute found Ibrahimović on the run, who let the ball run before firing it past Drgowski with a left-footed half volley. The advantage did not last long, as Pulgar managed to surprise Donnarumma and beat him with a free kick in the 17th minute. There was a nervy moment in the 29th minute when, from a corner, Pezzella flicked the ball towards goal on the volley only to see his shot come back off the crossbar. Ibrahimović was soon to meet the same outcome when his deft chip over Dragowski bounced back off the crossbar. Çalhanoğlu also came dangerously close in the 40th minute when his shot from the edge of the box grazed the post as it went wide. A match full of emotions. The half time whistle blows.
The game restarted without any changes for either side. Fiorentina took the lead in the 51st minute; Eysseric crossed the ball in for Vlahovic, who then laid it off for Ribéry to apply the finishing touch. AC Milan didn’t give up and quickly found the strength to equalise: On a corner in the 57th minute, Kjær won the initial header and Díaz was in the right place to slot it home. Two great chances came soon after: Ibra's shot clipped the outside of the post after a speculative effort from distance in the 64th minute; then in the 67th minute Hernández ran into a good position down the channel but couldn’t connect with his shot and it went wide. Çalhanoğlu thought about trying his luck in the 72nd minute: Kessie brought the ball forward and poked the ball through for Hakan's precise right-footed shot to roll past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. In the closing stages, the only thing worth noting was a shot by Bonaventura that was blazed high and over the bar. The full-time whistle is blown.



FIORENTINA (4-4-2): Drągowski (44' Terracciano); Martínez Quarta (74' Callejón), Milenković, Pezzella, Cáceres; Eysseric, Pulgar (74' Kouamé), Castrovilli (71' Venuti), Bonaventura; Ribéry, Vlahović. Subs: Rosati; Barreca, Biraghi, Malcuit, Olivera; Amrabat, Borja Valero, Montiel. Coach: Prandelli.

AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Dalot, Kjær, Tomori, Hernández; Tonali (58' Bennacer), Kessie; Saelemaekers (58' Castillejo), Çalhanoğlu (91' Meïte), Díaz (80' Krunić); Ibrahimović. Subs: A. Donnarumma, Tătărușanu; Gabbia, Kalulu, Stanga; Hauge; Tonin. Coach: Pioli.

Referee: Guida from Torre Annunziata.
Goals: 9' Ibrahimović (M), 17' Pulgar (F), 51' Ribéry (F), 57' Díaz (M), 72' Çalhanoğlu (M).
Booked: 41' Çalhanoğlu (M), 47' Dalot (M), 89' Kouamé (F), 92' Meïte (M).
Notes: Prandelli (F) booked in the dug-out for dissent in the 65th minute.

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