The usual, great AC Milan were on show tonight. The usual team spirit and heart to overcome the opposition were there. The Rossoneri kicked off 2022 as well as the second half of the season in the best possible way, reaffirming their strength even during tough times and when faced by a full strength and high calibre opposition. As in the away fixture earlier this season, the Rossoneri defeated Roma comprehensively and were the better side on the night. In the 3-1 win at San Siro, the goals came from Giroud's penalty, Messias and Leão, with Abraham's goal making it 1-2 in between. An important victory. Pioli's side, above all depleted in defence due to a number of absences, were nevertheless solid and able to impose themselves thanks to a high-quality performance from the whole group.
It was a match that had it all, full of thrills and spills: Maignan's incredible performance in goal, Kalulu and Gabbia stepping up to the plate, the dismissals of Karsdorp and Mancini, crosses by Díaz and Florenzi, Ibrahimović's missed penalty in the final minutes and Leão's return to the pitch all come to mind. Matchday 20 of Serie A saw AC Milan move up to second place on 45 points, just one point behind Inter, who have one game in hand. A new year, but the same attitude and ambition. In a few days the championship will go on: on Sunday 9 January, at 12:30 (CET), the Rossoneri will head to Venice to take on Venezia.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v ROMA
AC Milan got off to an excellent start, both in terms of work rate and the quality of their football. The deadlock was broken early, in the eighth minute: Hernández's volley from a corner was saved by Rui Patrício but not before it Abraham handballed it in the box. VAR intervened, awarding a penalty which was tucked away nicely by Giroud. In the 17th minute, Giroud took advantage of a wayward backpass from Ibañez, from which he hit the post, Messias then latched onto the loose ball and slotted it into the far corner. Roma had a great chance to narrow the gap in the 24th minute, Zaniolo wasted a good chance as he was in on goal, but Maignan was on hand to make the save. After a change in the flow of the game, with the Rossoneri in the ascendency once more, a second miracle save came from Maignan, who was prodigious in tipping Zaniolo's header away from Abraham. However, Roma then netted their first in the 40th minute when Abraham turned Pellegrini's shot into the net. Half time.
After the restart, there was more of what was to be expected, an open and fast paced game. In the 50th minute, Krunić missed his chance to score, and in the 51st minute,, the Rossoneri came close to scoring when Díaz fired a right-footed shot from the edge of the box that hit the crossbar. The Giallorossi were on fire, growing into the game. Yet once again Maignan was extraordinary: in the 59th minute, he saved Abraham's effort and 62 minutes in he denied Mkhitaryan. AC Milan looked dangerous again in the 67th minute, with Díaz firing wide, and Messias hitting it over the bar in the 68th. In the 74th minute, a foul by Karsdorp earned him a second yellow and subsequently a red card. A few seconds later Florenzi hit the crossbar with a wonderful free-kick. In the dying minutes, with the Giallorossi one man down, Leão made it three in the 82nd minute when he caught onto Ibra's lay off and was through on goal against Rui Patrício, beating him. In stoppage time Rafa again earned a penalty and caused Mancini to be sent off (second yellow), but Ibrahimovic missed from the spot. Full time.
AC MILAN 3-1 ROMA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi (77' Conti), Kalulu, Gabbia, Hernández; Tonali, Krunić (64' Bakayoko); Messias, Díaz (88' Maldini), Saelemaekers (64' Leão); Giroud (77' Ibrahimović). Subs: Mirante, Nava; Stanga; Rebić. Coach: Pioli.
ROMA (3-5-2): Rui Patrício; Mancini, Smalling, Ibañez; Karsdorp, Pellegrini (71' Afena), Veretout (71' Cristante), Mkhitaryan, Viña (71' El Shaarawy); Zaniolo (85' Pérez), Abraham (76' Shomurodov). Subs: Boer, Mastrantonio; Calafiori, Kumbulla; Bove, Villar; Zalewski. Coach: Mourinho.
Referee: Chiffi from Padova.
Goals: 8' pen. Giroud (M), 17' Messias (M), 40' Abraham (R), 82' Leão (M).
Booked: 7' Abraham (R), 18' Zaniolo (R), 44' Hernández (M), 44' Pellegrini (R), 56' Krunić (M).
Sent off: 74' Karsdorp (R), 93' Mancini (R).
Match KIT, clothing, accessories, gift ideas and much more: visit AC Milan online Store!