Rafa Leão gets us back to winning ways. A great finish from our number 10 saw the Rossoneri beat Hellas Verona by a goal to nil on Serie A matchday 5. Pioli's side put in a performance full of patience, personality and passion to bring home three vital points. The talking point ahead of the game was the switch to a back 3, formed of Thiaw, Kjær (who made his 100th AC Milan appearance) and Tomori, ahead of Marco Sportiello on his first start for the Club. Worthy of note was a debut for Youth Sector product Davide Bartesaghi.
In the end, Leão's third league goal of the season was enough for the Rossoneri to take home the victory, which sees them move to twelve points in the table, in an intense game but one largely also devoid of chances. Florenzi and Musah played well on the wings, the latter having made his first start for the Rossoneri. It was a good afternoon all in all and a good way to celebrate the first appearance of our new Third Kit and also kick off an intense week of league football. We're back in action on Wednesday evening when we travel to Cagliari before a big game against Lazio next Saturday. Forza ragazzi!
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN v HELLAS VERONA
The match was forced to kick-off 25 minutes late due to a downpour that hit Milan early afternoon. But it didn’t affect the players as we took the lead inside seven minutes with the first chance of the game: Giroud playing Leão through the middle and the captain for the day coolly slotted home past an onrushing Montipò. The game progressed at a slow rhythm, also due to the heavy pitch, and after 21', Sportiello made a great reflex save, pushing away Folorunsho’s header from close range. Leão's surge forward on 25' failed to bring about the desired result, while on 31' Reijnders tried his luck from the edge of the box with his right, but it was deflected behind for a corner by the Scaligeri defence. The last piece of first-half action came from Giroud, who spun Hien, one minute before the end of normal time, but his left-footed shot on the volley from 18 yards out was easily dealt with by Montipò.
The start of the second half saw the visitors pushing for an equaliser and looking more forward-thinking: Ngonge shot over after 51’ and then substitue Bonazzoli had a turn and shot on 56', which was saved well by Sportiello. Then, it was our turn to go forward with Leão's gallopping run on the break just after the hour mark that ended with a Musah effort. Halfway through the second half, Loftus-Cheek and Jović entered the fray and it was the Englishman who played Pulisic through after 72', but the fists of Montipò said no to our number 11. There was also space for Bartesaghi, Okafor and Pobega, and after 86’ Musah, following his driving run forward, stung the hands of Montipò, who made a difficult save. Six minutes of stoppage time opened up with Okafor breaking away, but with nobody able to keep up with him, while at the back there was little cause for concern. At the final whistle, it ended 1-0 to AC Milan!
AC MILAN 1-0 HELLAS VERONA
AC MILAN (3-4-3): Sportiello; Thiaw, Kjær, Tomori; Musah, Krunić (65' Loftus-Cheek), Reijnders, Florenzi (75' Bartesaghi); Pulisic (80' Pobega), Giroud (65' Jović), Leão (80' Okafor). Subs: Mirante, Nava; Pellegrino; Adli, Romero; Chukwueze. Coach: Pioli.
HELLAS VERONA (3-5-1-1): Montipò; Magnani, Hien, Dawidowicz; Faraoni (46' Bonazzoli), Folorunsho, Hongla, Duda (70' Saponara), Terracciano (89' Djurić); Lazović (70' Cabal); Ngonge (80' Suslov). Subs: Berardi, Perilli; Amione, Coppola; Charlys, Serdar; Cruz, Mboula. Coach: Baroni.
Referee: Maresca from Napoli.
Goal: 8' Leão (M).
Booked: 24' Thiaw (M), 41' Faraoni (HV), 55' Bonazzoli (HV), 58' Musah (M), 69' Pioli (M), 76' Pulisic (M), 89' Florenzi (M, from the bench).
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