From Spezia to Fiorentina, the Rossoneri today recorded another 2-1 win with a goal deep into stoppage time at San Siro. AC Milan finished 2022 with a flourish as they beat the Viola thanks to a late Milenković own-goal after Barák had cancelled out Leão's early opener. Pioli's team, once again, showed an astonishing amount of self-belief and conviction as they weathered the Fiorentina storm; Biraghi hit the post and Tomori was forced to make a late goalline clearance to deny Ikoné. AC Milan created plenty of chances of their own, especially at the start of the second half.
We have to make a mention of the impact off the bench of both Sergiño Dest - full of energy down the right - and Aster Vranckx, whose cross it was that forced the decisive own-goal. The calendar year, which saw the Rossoneri return to the top of Italian football (and the top 16 in Europe), has finished with an intense game. AC Milan retain second place (alone for the time being as we await the result of Juve v Lazio) and are eight points behind leaders Napoli. We now take a break for the World Cup before the training camp in Dubai in December. Serie A starts up again on 4 January 2023 when the Rossoneri travel to Salernitana.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v FIORENTINA
Ready, set and go: inside 88 seconds and AC Milan were already ahead. 35 yards out from goal, Giroud provided a lovely lay-off releasing Leão away to drive into the box and slot home with his right-foot past Terracciano. The goal energised San Siro but Fiorentina were well in the game, going close to an equaliser with Biraghi hitting the post after eight minutes. After a blistering start, the number of chances diminished slightly but the intensity from both sides didn't let up. After 19 minutes, Terracciano had to come out quickly to get ahead of Giroud, after a poor backpass from Igor. And just before the half-hour mark the Viola equalised through Barák, whose turn and shot took a slight deflection off Thiaw to go under Tătăruşanu. The final 15 minutes of the half came to life in the closing stages with two glorious chances for the Rossoneri: first, Tonali, two minutes before the end, was closed down at the last minute by the Viola defence; then in injury-time, Díaz chipped over Terracciano from close range, but Venuti recovered well to clear it away off the line.
The second half opened up with a great chance for the Rossoneri: 50 minutes in and Giroud’s right-footed flick at the near post was kept out by Terracciano, who clawed it away at the second attempt. AC Milan put further pressure on the away side with Leão firing inches wide from the edge of the box two minutes later. After another frenetic start, the tempo dropped somewhat. Pioli decided to put Origi on to go with three up front (Dest also came on). But in the 69th minute, there was a scare as Kalulu nearly knocked into his own net from a Jović attempt, but Tătăruşanu was alert to keep it out. After 72 minutes, Leão got past his man and crossed for Giroud, whose overhead kick nearly gave AC Milan the lead again. There was another chance five minutes later when the ball rebounded to the feet of Leão, after good work from Dest, but he shot over from a good central position. After 84 minutes, Fiorentina found themselves in front of Tătăruşanu's goal but the Romanian got down well and saved comfortably from Terzić’s attempt. Both sides opened up and one minute before the end of normal time, it was Tomori’s turn to save the day, clearing off the line from Ikoné's attempt. And when it seemed like the game was all but over, out of the blue came the winner in stoppage time: Vranckx’s cross from the right was turned into his own net by Milenković from a yard out, as he tried to protect the ball reaching Origi. The game ended 2-1 to us.
AC MILAN 2-1 FIORENTINA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tătăruşanu; Kalulu, Thiaw (56' Dest), Tomori, Hernández; Bennacer, Tonali (86' Rebić); Díaz (55' Origi), Krunić (75' Vranckx), Leão; Giroud. Subs: Jungdal, Mirante; Ballo-Touré, Kjær; Adli, Bakayoko, Pobega; De Ketelaere. Coach: Pioli.
FIORENTINA (4-2-3-1): Terracciano; Dodô (18' Venuti), Milenković, Igor, Biraghi; Amrabat, Mandragora (66' Duncan); Ikoné, Barák (75' Terzić), Saponara (75' Kouamé); Cabral (66' Jović). Subs: Cerofolini, Gollini; Martínez Quarta, Ranieri; Bianco, Bonaventura, Maleh. Coach: Italiano.
Referee: Simone Sozza.
Goals: 2' Leão (M), 28' Barák (F), 91' o.g. Milenković (M).
Booked: 21' Díaz (M), 49' Barák (F), 50' Saponara (F), 63' Mandragora (F), 74' Jović (F), 74' Italiano (F).
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