It was a strange and difficult evening, which concluded with the Rossoneri suffering their first league defeat of the season. Fiorentina won by four goals to three, largely due to the Viola's ability to pray upon our lapses in concentration. AC Milan dictated large swathes of the match and certainly created enough chances. A second-half fightback - led by Ibra with a brace and forcing an own goal - wasn't enough to avoid an inevitable defeat. The reaction after Vlahović made it 3-0 was commendable but there were too many errors committed throughout the 90 minutes plus six minutes added time. It wasn't the usual AC Milan performance but events such as these can and do happen, especially throughout the course of such a long and gruelling season. On matchday 13, following the third international break of the season, the Rossoneri lost their first Serie A game this season but are still firmly in the top four. It will now be essential to take stock of the situation and gather up any remaining energy for a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday to take on Atlético Madrid on the fifth round of Champions League group stage matches. There is no better chance for instant redemption.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM FIORENTINA V AC MILAN
The blanket of thick fog, which had descended over Florence, dissipated a few minutes before kick-off in a match that the Rossoneri approached with ambition and desire. Ibra put the ball in the back of the Fiorentina net in the fifth minute but the linesman's flag was raised for offside and the goal was rightfully ruled out. One minute later, Tonali played a pinpoint long ball to find Leão, who took the ball down well but underhit his effort in the one-on-one with Terracciano. Fiorentina pushed and had three corners between the 13th and 14th minutes; the third time was the charm for the hosts and Tătăruşanu's error allowed Duncan to open the scoring. The hosts, by now brimming with confidence, carved out another big chance; Vlahović headed just over the crossbar. The Rossoneri got back on the front foot and, in the 20th minute, Tonali picked up the ball on the edge of the box and forced Terracciano into a save. Leão got into the game more and more; the Portuguese went on a mazy run and fired goalwards - Terracciano there to save again (21'). Leão again in the 29th minute: first, he got caught on the ball in the box before, in the next move, he was denied by the Viola 'keeper. Rafa threatened again in the 35th minute: he skipped past Odriozola only for his effort to be blocked. The Rossoneri were piling the pressure on but Ibra spurned a big chance to equalise: Kjær picked the Swede out with an inch-perfect cross but Zlatan headed wide from in front of goal. And then came the shock: Fiorentina doubled their lead. Saponara's effort on the turn was as accurate as could be and nestled into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The second half began with another chance for us: Ibra got onto the end of Leão's pass but fired wide. In the 52nd minute, it was Rafa again: he met Kessie's ball but sent his effort just over the bar. Pioli opted for a triple change and tried to fire up the team but, with their first chance of the half, Fiorentina punished the Rossoneri. Vlahović rounded Tătăruşanu and rifled it into an open goal. Bonaventura's error in the 62nd minute opened the door for a potential comeback: Ibra benefited to make it 3-1 and get AC Milan back into the match. Just four minutes went by and Zlatan bagged his brace: Theo evaded Odriozola and fed our number 11 in the box to sweep it home. The Rossoneri pushed for an equaliser but it was Vlahović again to put any thoughts of a comeback to bed. Theo's lost the ball on the edge of the box and the Serb curled it into the bottom corner - 4-2. AC Milan made it 4-3 in the dying minutes of the match as Ibra's header struck the post and a surprised Venuti turned it into his own net. It wasn't enough: it ended 4-3.
FIORENTINA 4-3 AC MILAN
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Terracciano; Odriozola, Venuti, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura (69' Castrovilli), Torreira, Duncan; Callejon (69' González), Vlahović, Saponara. Subs: Cerofolini, Rosati; Frison, Terzić; Amrabat, Maleh, Sottil; Distefano, Munteanu. Coach: Italiano
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tătăruşanu; Kalulu (57' Florenzi), Gabbia, Kjær, Hernández; Tonali (74' Bennacer), Kessie; Saelemaekers (57' Messias), Díaz (57' Giroud), Leão (80' Krunić); Ibrahimović. Subs: Desplanches, Mirante; Ballo-Touré, Romagnoli; Bakayoko, Krunić; Pellegri. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: Guida from Torre Annunziata.
Goals: 15' Duncan (F), 46' Saponara (F), 60' Vlahović (F), 62' Ibrahimović (M), 67' Ibrahimović (M), 85' Vlahović (F), 96' o. g. Venuti (F).
Booked: 95' Castrovilli (F), 95' Hernández (M).
The PUMA AC Milan jerseys for the 2021/22 season are available: buy them now!