Milan needed to get the job done at San Siro this afternoon – following four games without a win at the stadium – and they succeeded against Genoa. However, the Rossoneri had to fight extremely hard to secure the three points and it was yet another nail-biter for the fans.
As things stand, Stefano Pioli’s men are now seven points clear of fifth place and at least two of their rivals will drop points today (Atalanta-Juventus, Napoli-Inter). The Champions League race is still very tight but the win was a must for the Rossoneri this afternoon and it was nice to see them win at San Siro again.
Milan got off to a great start in the game as Ante Rebic made the most of a clearance, using his left foot to fire it past Mattia Perin in goal. The Croatian, who always seems to be better in the second half of the season, now has seven league goals and he will be hoping to continue on this path.
Just a few minutes later, the Rossoneri could have doubled the lead as Hakan Calhanoglu set up Rafael Leao perfectly, but the first touch of the latter completely ruined the chance. In the absence of Ibrahimovic, the Portuguese youngster was faced with a big exam and unfortunately, he failed.
Instead of 2-0, with 37 minutes on the clock, Genoa scored the equaliser through Mattia Destro who made the most of Fikayo Tomori’s sloppy defending. It was, simply put, terrible from the Chelsea loanee who gifted the goal to the former Milan striker, who also scored in the reverse fixture.
The scores remained level as the referee blew for the half-time break and Pioli must have done something right, considering that Milan came out with a lot of energy in the second. They didn’t always create many dangerous chances but the pressure on Genoa was constant and eventually it paid off.
Calhanoglu sent a corner into the box and Mario Mandzukic tried to get on the end of it. Although he failed to do so, he put Gianluca Scamacca off guard and the ball deflected off the striker and into the back of the net. There was nothing Perin could do and Milan finally got the goal that they somewhat deserved.
What followed was 20 minutes of drama as Milan seemed content to defend the lead and end the game. Genoa weren’t having any of it and tried their best to create chances, coming extremely close. After Gigio Donnarumma made a mistake, Simon Kjaer and Tomori had to step up.
The centre-back duo made one goal-line clearance each in what was an absolutely incredible sequence – the perfect example of just how hard-fought the win was for Milan. They managed to see it through and as mentioned, the three points will do them a lot of good in the Champions League race.
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