AC Milan managed to follow up the win against Cagliari last weekend with yet another one this evening, beating SPAL with ease at the San Siro. Certainly, it was an encouraging performance by Pioli’s men, who now will face Torino ht quarter-finals of Coppa Italia.
The Rossoneri started the game very well, immediately showing the away side their intentions for the evening. However, at least initially, SPAL managed to get past the Milan players despite the high line they faced. Pioli’s response? He ordered his players to push even further.
Although it took some energy from the home side, it seemed to tire Semplici’s men even more as they found themselves stressed almost all the time. As a result of this, Milan got the first real chance of the game. Rebic managed to put Castillejo through on goal, but the goalkeeper was quickly off his line to limit the Spaniard’s time, averting the danger.
Just three minutes later, with 20 minutes on the clock, Piatek broke the deadlock. The Polish international managed to beat the offside trap as Bennacer played him through on goal. Unlike Castillejo, he had loads of space and time, slotting it home past Berisha in goal. An important confidence-boost for the striker.
After that, the tempo of the game slowed down a bit. The Rossoneri continued to create some chances but didn’t find the crucial touch until the 44th minute. Piatek led a counter-attack and eventually played it to Castillejo, who picked out the top left corner with a lovely curling effort. In other words, Milan headed into the half-time break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
In the early stages of the second half, we could have seen two more goals. On the first occasion, Rebic did very well to shrug off his defender and burst down the left-hand flank. He eventually found Piatek in the box with a great pass, but the striker fired it straight at the goalkeeper.
A few minutes later, the Croatian once again found the Pole with a lovely pass. However, the latter initially thought that he was offside, thus taking too long to get a shot away. This allowed the defender to get back and block the effort, and although Piatek did well tonight, it could have been even better.
In the 66th minute, Hernandez joined in on the fun as he scored the third. Pouncing on a loose pass, the Frenchman used his pace to get closer to goal before firing a rocket with his left foot. The defender has now scored five goals for the Rossoneri this season, which speaks for itself.
Donnarumma, Antonio that is, was put to the test just once during the entire 90 minutes. Murgia found himself in a good position with just a few minutes left of the game, but his header was well-saved by the goalkeeper. Thanks to the clean-sheet, he is the first goalkeeper in Milan history to have played at least 300 minutes without conceding a single goal.
As mentioned, the Rossoneri will now face Torino in the quarter-finals of the competition. However, before that, they will take on Udinese on Sunday at the San Siro.
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