A match with two faces, which produced a well-deserved result: AC Milan won 2-1 at the Olimpico thanks to goals from Ibrahimović and Kessie. Over an hour of dominance on the pitch, capped off with Zlatan’s opener and Franck adding the second, before a red card to Theo reopened the contest: half an hour of resistance, weakened but not done in, after a goal from El Shaarawy that cut into our lead in injury time. AC Milan resisted and held on to win at the Olimpico, moving onto 31 points in the standings out of a possible 33, on par with Napoli. An extraordinary run, thanks to a team stronger than the absentees, stronger than any problems, and so far stronger than all opponents.
The Rossoneri's first hour of play was valuable in terms of the quality and control of the game. The last half hour was more of a battle and was also characterised by the "muscular" changes made by the Coach to reinforce the defence. Mission accomplished, despite the late scare. Now, on the horizon, there is a double appointment at home, first the Champions League match against Porto and then Sunday's Derby against Inter.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM ROMA v AC MILAN
The first half was lively, intense and of quality. The first chance fell for the Giallorossi: in the 3rd minute, Viña set up Pellegrini in the area, who mishit it with his left foot. The Rossoneri responded immediately with Kessie, who in the 6th minute couldn’t finish the beautiful pass from Leão, over-hitting it with his left. We came forward again in the 10th minute with a cross from Calabria making its way to Leão who met it in stride but fluffed the finish. Roma reappeared in the 13th minute with Pellegrini, whose left-footed shot just missed the target. End to end football: Krunić and Ibra combined in the 17th minute, but Zlatan's left-footed shot flew over the crossbar. The Rossoneri took the advantage in the 26th minute: a free kick won by Rafa on the edge of the box, taken by Zlatan who, with a powerful right, beat Rui Patricio at the far post. We pushed on and on 29 minutes Bennacer, after stealing the ball from Veretout, shot high with his right foot. Screams of joy got stuck in the throat in the 37th minute when Leão lobbed the ball over Rui Patricio and nodded it into the net, only for it to be ruled out due to Ibra starting offside.
The second half opened with another goal ruled out, this time for Ibra after he was ruled offside again. A penalty was awarded in our favour in the 54th minute: Ibañez fouled Ibra, and Kessie made no mistake from the spot. However, we were brought down to ten in the 65th minute, when Maresca showed a second yellow to Hernández, who took out Pellegrini on the edge of the box. Pioli adapted by bringing on Bakayoko, Romagnoli and Tonali, switching to a 5-3-1. Kjær produced a great save in the 82nd minute on Zaniolo's precise header. In injury time, El Shaarawy cut into the lead with a nice right-footed finish from near the penalty spot, then the final charge from the Giallorossi produced a left-footed effort from Pérez to which Tătăruşanu was very attentive. Final score: 2-1 to AC Milan!
ROMA 1-2 AC MILAN
ROMA (4-2-3-1): Rui Patricio; Karsdrop (80' Shomurodov), Mancini, Ibañez, Viña (68' Pérez); Cristante, Veretout; Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan (46' Felix); Abraham (63' El Shaarawy). Subs: Fuzato, Boer; Calafiori, Kumbulla, Missori, Tripi; Bove, Darboe, Zalewski. Coach: Mourinho.
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tătăruşanu; Calabria, Kjær, Tomori, Hernández; Kessie, Bennacer (76' Romagnoli); Saelemaekers (68' Ballo-Touré), Krunić (76' Bakayoko), Leão (76' Tonali); Ibrahimović (57' Giroud). Subs: Jungdal, Mirante; Conti, Gabbia, Kalulu; Díaz; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: Maresca from Napoli.
Goals: 26' Ibrahimović (M), 57' pen. Kessie (M), 93' El Shaarawy (R).
Booked: 7' Zaniolo (R), 24' Karsdorp (R), 26' Ibrahimović (M), 41' Hernández (M), 49' Mancini (R), 65' Tomori (M), 81' Kessie (M), 96' Veretout (R).
Sent off: 66' Hernández (M).
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