serie-a16 May 2021


AC Milan held at home by Cagliari

A tough draw to take. AC Milan were held to a goalless draw at San Siro by Cagliari and missed their first chance to secure qualification to next season's Champions League. The Rossoneri, who would have guaranteed a top-four finish with a win this evening, couldn't take advantage of their superiority on the night and come away with just one point. It was a nervous and difficult game, which became tougher and tougher as the minutes dragged on, due in no small part to some stout defending from the guests. The Sardinian outfit - galvanised by the news of their survival this afternoon - came close to scoring after the break, but were thwarted by two fantastic saves from Gigio. One final assault as the game wound to a close did not produce what would have been the winner and it all goes down to the wire next weekend. AC Milan head to Bergamo to take on Atalanta and will need to put in the best performance possible. We go again.



The Rossoneri dominated possession of the football in the opening stages, trying to find spaces to drag the Cagliari backline out of position. The first attempt fell to Rebić, who fired wide following a great bit of interplay with Díaz on the edge of the penalty area. The tempo dropped and the guests gave little away but AC Milan were patient and came close through Saelemaekers (18'), in what was the first real shot in anger of the game; Cragno dived to turn Alexis' fantastic effort behind for a corner. On the half-hour mark, Calabria let fly from 30 meters out but it ended up just inches off target. A well-worked free-kick routine in the 42nd minute was ultimately hit over the crossbar by Theo. A difficult first half came to a close following another free-kick. This time, Çalhanoğlu hit it straight at the wall.

Leão replaced Saelemaekers at the break and, three minutes into the second half, Çalha saw his effort dealt with easily by Cragno. The Rossoneri maintained the pressure but Cagliari continued to defend resolutely and even came close through Pavoletti, whose header was saved by Gigio (54'). Donnarumma also produced a splendid stop ten minutes later, this time to keep out Godín's header at the corner. AC Milan struck back with a great chance for Castillejo, who sent it over the bar from two yards out. Leão then set off down the left and looked for the Spaniard at the back post, but Samu couldn't quite get on the end of it. Çalhanoğlu tested Cragno with a well-struck shot but the Cagliari 'keeper did well to parry it behind for a corner. The final 15 minutes of the match saw the Rossoneri put Cagliari under a near-constant siege, though the Sardinians' fortress held out in spite of two late chances, which fell the way of Castillejo. The first was a shot on the turn that went just wide, the second saw Godín head Samu's effort behind. It ended 0-0.



AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria (63' Dalot), Kjær, Tomori, Hernández; Bennacer (63' Meïte), Kessie; Saelemaekers (46' Leão), Díaz (57' Castillejo), Çalhanoğlu (89' Mandžukić); Rebić. Subs: A. Donnarumma, Tătărușanu; Kalulu, Romagnoli; Hauge, Krunić, Tonali; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.

CAGLIARI (4-3-1-2): Cragno; Ceppitelli (86' Klavan), Godín, Carboni (88' Rugani); Nández, Deiola (86' Asamoah), Marin (78' Duncan), Lykogiannis; Nainggolan; João Pedro, Pavoletti (78' Cerri). Subs: Aresti, Vicario; Tripaldelli, Zappa; Tramoni; Simeone, Sottil. Coach: Semplici

Referee: Massa from Imperia. 
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Booked: 33' Kjær (M), 40' Marin (C), 45' Carboni (C), 58' Calabria (M) 

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