AC Milan 2-2 Lecce: Wasteful Rossoneri have themselves to blame in Pioli’s debut

AC Milan once again disappointed their fans as Lecce managed to snatch one point at the San Siro, scoring the equaliser with just a few minutes left on the clock. A nightmare for Stefano Pioli, therefore, who didn’t get the birthday that he wished for.

The Rossoneri came out flying in the first half as Rafael Leao got two good chances within the first two minutes, both assisted by Calhanoglu. However, the Portuguese youngster failed to get his finishing right as Lecce managed to avoid conceding early on. A promising start, in other words.

In the 12th minute, it was Calhanoglu’s turn to get two good chances shortly after one another. The first one warned the goalkeeper, Gabriel, who didn’t get close on the second occasion as the Turk fired a rocket from just outside the box. However, the deadlock remained as the strike just missed the top left.

The hard work eventually paid off as Biglia managed to pick out Calhanoglu with a nice ball over the top. The 25-year-old brought it down nicely with his chest and then took it into his stride with his knee, before taking a chance on the half-volley with a lovely effort. Seconds later, the Turk celebrated the first goal of Pioli’s reign.

From there one, the tempo of the game slowed down significantly and Milan allowed their opponents to have a bit more possession, trying to hit them on the counter-attack instead. Had they been more composed in the final third, they could have scored more than one goal in the first half, which thus ended 1-0.

At the start of the second half, Pioli’s men continued on the same path as after the opener, not getting crazy about attacking but rather waiting for their chances to come. As a result of this, they managed to create a few half-chances but nothing major overall, as they kept struggling in the final third.

Instead, 60 minutes in, Conti gave away a penalty as he used his arm to deny the Lecce attackers a good cross. The referee didn’t see it at first but awarded the penalty after checking VAR. Babacar stepped up for the away side and saw his effort get saved by Donnarumma. However, the former pounced on the rebound to score the equaliser.

Milan then tried to up the tempo, as they did in the first 30 minutes, but failed to put the defenders in danger. Calhanoglu came close to scoring a spectacular goal as his corner-kick hit the post, thanks to a nice bend on the ball. However, Pioli was forced to make a few chances to get things going, bringing on Piatek, Krunic and Rebic for Leao, Paqueta and Kessie.

In the 81st minute, Calhanoglu played a nice one-two with Krunic to get past the defenders, before picking out Piatek in the box. The Polish striker made no mistakes with the finish and scored his first goal from open play this season. For a long time, it looked like this would be the winner for Milan.

However, deep into injury time, Calderoni tried his luck from distance with a lovely strike, which made its way past Donnarumma. Lecce had equalised once again, and what should have been a positive debut for Pioli, quickly turned into a nightmare. The Rossoneri only have themselves and their lack of composure to blame, failing to kill the game at 1-0 and 2-1.

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