What a night. After consecutive goalless draws against Bologna and Torino, AC Milan are back to winning ways after beating Genoa. The 70,259 spectators at San Siro drove their team to a 2-0 victory. Leão opened the scoring in the tenth minute and Messias wrapped it up late on as the Rossoneri beat the Rossoblù and maintained their position at the top of the table. It wasn't a dazzling display, but it was enough on a night filled with fouls and interruptions.
Davide Calabria missed out after picking up a knock in the warm-up, but Matteo Gabbia stepped up and played really well before being subbed off towards the end of the game. The Rossoneri needed two things on Good Friday: to score and to win. Mission accomplished, and we can now rest easy over the Easter weekend. Then, we're back to the Coppa Italia with a derby in the semi-final second leg on Tuesday.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v GENOA
The Rossoneri made an assertive start and immediately went on the attack, with two dangerous runs from Hernández ultimately coming to nothing. The opening goal arrived in the eleventh minute: Kalulu played in a wonderful cross to the far post, where Leão was waiting to volley home with his left foot. In general, the first half was a rather scrappy affair, with the Diavolo struggling to play at any real tempo. A good chance did, however, fall Saelemaekers’ way with 35 minutes on the clock: Kessie did well to find a yard of space in the box and feed the Belgian, who was unable to direct his effort on target. There was a scare in first-half stoppage time as Galdames sprang the offside trap and shifted the ball onto his right foot, but his attempt was high and wide.
Coach Pioli sent the same team out for the second half, with the Rossoneri controlling possession in the early stages after the restart. They also came close to doubling their advantage in the 57th minute, when Giroud’s acrobatic volley from Saelemaekers’ cross flew over the bar. Rebić and Messias entered the fray, while Genoa tried to push up the pitch to cause AC Milan problems. The Diavolo looked dangerous on the break, with Leão threatening in particular after 77 minutes, but his left-footed shot was saved by Sirigu. The goal that put the game to bed arrived in the 87th minute. Rebić calmly found Messias, who was initially denied by a fine Sirigu stop; however, the Brazilian then pounced on the rebound and fired into the roof of the net. There was still time for a brilliant save from Maignan, who preserved his clean sheet by palming Hernani’s header away. A crowd of 70,000 at San Siro thus celebrated a 2-0 AC Milan win.
AC MILAN 2-0 GENOA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Gabbia (74' Krunić), Tomori, Hernández; Tonali, Bennacer (86' Díaz); Saelemaekers (62' Messias), Kessie, Leão (86' Ballo-Touré); Giroud (62' Rebić). Subs.: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Calabria; Bakayoko; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
GENOA (4-2-3-1): Sirigu; Hefti, Østigård, Bani, Vásquez; Galdames, Badelj; Ekuban (55' Melegoni), Amiri (72' Guðmundsson), Frendrup (72' Yeboah); Piccoli (55' Destro). Subs.: Marchetti, Šemper; Criscito, Maksimović, Masiello; Ghiglione, Hernani, Portanova. Coach: Blessin.
Referee: Chiffi from Padova.
Gol: 11' Leão (M), 87' Messias (M)
Booked: 79' Yeboah (G), 85' Tonali (M), 94' Guðmundsson (G).
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