After the draw against Fiorentina, AC Milan were hoping for revenge this afternoon, taking on Genoa at the San Siro. However, the Rossoneri failed to grab the three points as the away side secured only their second win at the stadium in the last 19 meetings.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the game was played behind closed doors, meaning no fans were at the stadium. Therefore, the atmosphere was certainly very strange, looking more like a pre-season friendly than a competitive league game. And Milan played like it was the former.
Just seven minutes into the clash, Theo Hernandez made a big mistake at the back as he lost the duel with Antonio Sanabria, allowing the Paraguayan enough space and time to pick out Goran Pandev in the box. The latter made no mistakes with the tap-in and thus put the away side. Without a doubt, Theo is to blame for that goal.
After the goal, Milan started to play a bit better, moving the ball around with a lot of pace thanks to impressive movement. In the 17th minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic really should have scored the equaliser, played free by Hakan Calhanoglu at the back post. However, the Swede’s header was more or less straight at Mattia Perin.
A few minutes later, it was Calhanoglu’s time to miss a good chance, once again combining with Ibrahimovic to trouble the Genoa defence. Perin managed to come out quickly and make himself big, but the Turk’s left-footed effort was also straight at the goalkeeper.
The balance of the game then shifted, with the away side gaining a bit more possession and control. As a result of this, the Rossoneri didn’t really create any more chances in the first half. Instead, Genoa managed to unlock the back-four once again as Cassata scored a tap-in at the back post. 0-2 on the scoreboard heading into the break.
In the second half, Stefano Pioli made two substitutions after ten minutes, bringing on Jack Bonaventura and Rafael Leao in place of Calhanoglu and Ante Rebic. However, this didn’t have a huge effect on the Rossoneri, who continued to play with a lack of urgency.
In fact, Milan barely created any chances until the 77th minute, when the ball made its way to Ibrahimovic after a scrappy corner. The 38-year-old quickly turned and fired a left-footed shot from close range, giving Perin no chance to keep it out. For the Rossoneri, it was a lifeline with still some time to go.
However, Genoa quickly regained control of the game as they continued to cancel the Rossoneri’s attack out, allowing them to move on the flanks while making it very tight in the middle. In the 91st, Pioli brought on Davie Calabria in place of Andrea Conti, which obviously didn’t have a big impact in attack.
The away side were able to see out the game, quite easily one must add, and Milan lost for only the second time this year. It remains to be seen if the next round will be played, but it’s clear that playing without the fans had a big effect on the Rossoneri.
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