Twelves wins in the league and top of the table - for a few hours at least. AC Milan made no mistakes at San Siro and beat Salernitana by two goals to nil thanks to first-half strikes from Kessie and Saelemaekers. The team approached this game with the perfect mindset and dominated possession and dictated the tempo of the game, coming out of the match totally unscathed. It was just what we needed after the win at Marassi and ahead of a massive final matchday in the Champions League group stage. The only sour note of a largely positive afternoon was the injury to Pellegri, though the Rossoneri can be pleased for many reasons, not least due to Saelemaekers' first goal of the season, which he celebrated by holding up a shirt in tribute of teammate Simon Kjær - a sentiment echoed by the entire stadium.
While we're on the theme of the defence, noteworthy also is a second consecutive clean sheet (sixth of the season overall) - a much-needed response after seven goals conceded against Fiorentina and Sassuolo. The Rossoneri are - for the time being - top of Serie A on 38 points as we await the results of Roma v Inter and Napoli v Atalanta. Up next: the return of Champions League football and a vital clash at home to Liverpool on Tuesday 7 December at 21:00 CET. It is a must-win game if the Rossoneri are to have any hope of progressing to the knock-out rounds. Forza Milan!
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v SALERNITANA
Starts were handed to Pellegri, Florenzi and Bakayoko. AC Milan took the lead with their first real attack; in the fifth minute, Leão drove forward and crossed the ball for Kessie to turn it home. The Rossoneri kept up the constant offensive pressure and almost doubled their lead in the twelfth minute when Dìaz fired off target from close range after Bakayoko won the ball back and played the Spaniard in. The game was already on the path towards the second in spite of the injury to Pellegri and, in the 18th minute, the Rossoneri did double their lead. Saelemaekers - fed by Díaz - rifled it into the corner from an acute angle. In the 21st minute, an inspired Leão almost made Salernitana pay - the Granata themselves never really threatened, save for the odd wayward attempt from Zortea. Just before the break, AC Milan went close to a third through Krunić - saved by Belec (42') - and Kessie - wide (45').
Bennacer and Messias were sent on at the start of the second half and, in the 51st minute, the Brazilian found Florenzi, whose cross narrowly missed Kessie in the middle. AC Milan didn't force the issue, preferring rather to wait patiently for a moment to strike. And three chances fell their way: Florenzi fired off-target (65') before Messias forced Belec into a save (70'); the Salernitana stopper was then called into action moments later to deny Díaz (72'). The Granata never even threatened Maignan's goal and all of the late chances fell the way of AC Milan. In the 80th minute, Díaz missed a practically open goal before Tonali sent his shot narrowly wide in the 81st minute. Full time.
AC MILAN 2-0 SALERNITANA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi, Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernández (61' Ballo-Touré); Bakayoko (46' Bennacer), Kessie (79' Tonali); Saelemaekers, Díaz, Leão (46' Messias); Pellegri (15' Krunić). Subs: Mirante, Tătărușanu; Conti, Gabbia, Kalulu; Ibrahimović, Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
SALERNITANA (3-5-2): Belec; Veseli, Gyömbér, Bogdan; Zortea (61' Kechrida), Schiavone, Di Tacchio (46' Kastanos), L. Coulibaly, Ranieri (79' Jaroszyński); Ribéry (61' Djurić), Simy (61' Bonazzoli). Subs: Guerrieri, Fiorillo; Delli Carri; Capezzi, Obi, Kechrida; Vergani. Coach: Colantuono.
Referee: Giua from Olbia.
Goals: 5' Kessie (M), 18' Saelemaekers (M).
Booked: 24' Bakayoko (M), 30' Di Tacchio (S), 86' Djurić (S).
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