AC Milan 1-2 Sassuolo: Champions League at risk as wasteful Rossoneri squander lead

Milan were hoping to add another three points to their tally this evening after the win against Genoa at the weekend. They certainly had a promising start to the game, but it was turned on its head in the second half after two goals from the away side, who came away with the three points. 

As the European Super League was scrapped in just a matter of 48 hours, Stefano Pioli’s men were once again on the pitch to fight for a spot in the Champions League. And although they are closer than ever before, it could all come crashing down as the race is extremely tight for a top-four finish. 

Milan played well in the first half, moving the ball with purpose when in possession, but also closing down Sassuolo very well. Hakan Calhanoglu graced the performance with a lovely curling effort in the 30th minute, finding the back of the net and thus giving his side the vital first goal.

After that, the Rossoneri continued to play the ball around well and perhaps surprisingly, Sassuolo didn’t deploy a high line that much. This gave Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori the option to set up the play themselves with relative ease, although that changed in the second half.

Milan had a few good chances right off the bat and also forced Andrea Consigli to some saves. However, they lacked composure and seeing as the game was looking quite comfortable for them, they really should have scored that second goal and killed the game off before Sassuolo got going.

Because in the 77th minute, after Pioli had taken off Ante Rebic and Calhanoglu, Giacomo Raspadori pounced on a loose ball in the box. All of a sudden, it was 1-1 and Milan seemed a bit shocked as they had experienced such a control of the game up until then, which fueled the away side even more.

And instead of a potential winner for the home side, Raspadori turned the game on its head with his second of the evening as completely fooled Tomori. The centre-back’s second consecutive fatal mistake after the poor marking we saw against Genoa, which Mattia Destro made the most of.

Despite an in-direct free-kick, which Rade Krunic completely squandered, Milan failed to replicate and dropped three important points in the Champions League. Pioli, on the other hand, insisted that it wasn’t a bad performance from them as he spoke to the media post-match.

“I don’t think that, given the way we played, we deserved to score only one goal. Too bad for having lost, sorry because we had interpreted the game well. Let’s think about the next one now. We come from a negative result yes, from a negative performance definitely not,” he stated.

The Rossoneri will now have to rely on other teams to trouble their rivals as they could lose second place to Atalanta, who will face Roma tomorrow. Either way, this loss only highlighted that you can’t afford to drop any points at this stage of the season, especially not when you’re in the top-four race.

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