Unbelievable. AC Milan had 60 minutes against Spezia, which were full of scoring opportunities - including Leão's late first-half goal - but stuttered in the second half and went on to suffer their fourth defeat of the season and the first of 2022. Goals from Agudelo and Gyasi meant it was 2-1 at full time, giving three important points to Thiago Motta's Bianconeri. The Rossoneri can feel aggrieved and will lament Hernández's missed first-half penalty as well as a late episode when a foul on Rebić from the edge of the box interrupted a play that ended with a Messias goal for what would have been a 2-1 win for Pioli's side.
A loss that is very hard to swallow and that does tell the true story of the game. The result does not give any credit to the Rossoneri's performance in the first hour of the game nor attest to how they rallied in the dying minutes after the visitors equalised. A day to be forgotten quickly, with eyes now to be turned to the last fixture of the month before the international break: the fixture on Sunday evening against Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus. Come on lads.
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The Rossoneri got off to a strong start with the first chance coming after only 80 seconds when Leão's right-footed shot went just wide. Gabbia's header from a corner in the 11th minute went over the crossbar, and Provedel had to stop Leão's left-footed shot from hitting the back of the net in the 16th minute. It was all AC Milan in the early stages with Saelemaekers and Ibrahimović at it again in the 21st minute: the Swede was denied by some great reactions from Provedel in the 27th minute. Spezia finally made their presence felt in the 29th minute through Reca, but he was met by an alert Maignan. The Rossoneri kept pushing on and in the 40th minute Saelemaekers went close to taking the lead with a left-footed shot that was stopped by the visitors' goalkeeper. In the 45th minute, Provedel's foul on Leão in the box earned the Rossoneri a penalty, but Hernández missed from the spot. However, the goal came only a matter of seconds later when Krunić recovered the ball and headed it centrally for Leão, who powered past the opposition defenders to make it 1-0 with a neat half-volley chip that Provedel stranded.
The second half started in the same vein as the first, with AC Milan attacking and Spezia defending well. In the 55th minute, Ibrahimović's effort was narrowly wide, while a minute later Saelemaekers' first-time shot was blocked by a superb Provedel. But the visitors weren't about to let up: 63 minutes in, Erlić's header went over, and in the 64th minute, a cross from Verde found Agudelo who beat Maignan from close range to make it 1-1. AC Milan were rocked by the equaliser and Spezia came back into the game in the 68th minute with Amian's right-footed shot going just wide. Pioli upped the attacking intensity by sending on Rebić and Giroud, but in the 82nd minute, Maignan was called into action again to deny Kovalenko. Then it was the second half, and all sorts of things happened. In the 92nd minute, the whistle went for a foul on Rebić on the edge of the box and the opportunity was not squandered as the play ended with a Messias goal. In the 93rd minute, Provedel once again kept the Rossoneri out, stopping Ibrahimović's free-kick, then in the 94th minute the ball hit the crossbar from a corner and in the 96th minute, there was the bitterest of endings as Gyasi goal off the counter made it 2-1. Full time.
AC MILAN 1-2 SPEZIA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi (70' Calabria), Kalulu, Gabbia, Hernández; Krunić, Bakayoko; Saelemaekers (57' Messias), Díaz (70' Giroud), Leão (84' Rebić); Ibrahimović. Subs.: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Stanga; Castillejo, Di Gesù; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
SPEZIA (4-3-3): Provedel; Amian, Erlić, Nikolaou, Reca (77' Ferrer); Maggiore (80' Kovalenko), Kiwior, Bastoni; Gyasi, Manaj (58' Agudelo), Verde. Subs.: Zoet, Zovko; Bertola, Hristov; Sala, Sher; Antiste, Nzola, Strelec. Coach: Thiago Motta.
Referee: Serra from Turin.
Goal: 45'+1 Leão (M), 64' Agudelo (S), 96' Gyasi (S).
Booked: 19' Gyasi (S), 22' Kalulu (M), 32' Kiwior (S), 45' Provedel (S), 61' Gabbia (M), 94' Bastoni (S).
Notes: 45' penalty missed, Hernández (M).
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