Milan, what a step back! The 2-2 with Spal is a defeat, Leao better than Ibra | First page

A point for one that is not good for anyone, because the 2-2 between Spal and Milan is a defeat for both. For the Spal who at the end of the first half was winning 2-0 and for the Milan that after beating Lecce and the Rome he had the right and duty to collect three more points in Ferrara, to deserve a place in Europe. Instead, only a sensational author net of Vicari in full recovery he denies success to Di Biagio ‘s team and defeat to Pioli. It could be said that it is right for the many occasions that the Rossoneri have created, but we must not forget the different value of the two teams and above all the fact that Spal played from the 42 ‘of the first half with one less man for the expulsion of D’Alessandroguilty of a bad entrance on Hernandez. Result aside, the impression remains of a Spal who still plays with the strength of despair to save himself while AC Milan takes a huge step back in terms of the game, because it is not enough to pour into the opponent’s half, continuing to look for the goal without lucidity and precision. As it was not enough to cling to Ibrahimovic in the final, given that the Swede did not participate in Leao’s 1-2 action, nor in that of Vicari’s sensational goal in the 2-2 final. And so now Milan must look over their shoulder, thinking of the next three matches against Lazio, Juventus and Napoli, because in the race for the Europa League Verona came closer, even if the Rossoneri would be favored for direct comparisons on equal points.

THREE CHANGES – After confirming against Roma the same formation that had begun to win in Lecce, this time Pioli makes three changes, two in defense where Calabria is Cage take over respectively Conti and Kjaer and especially one in the middle of the field where Paqueta is raised instead of Bonaventure. And the Brazilian is the first to commit Letica who, however, is not surprised. It seems the beginning of a downhill game and instead it is not so because it is Spal who takes the lead.

ROSSONERI ERRORS – Valoti comes out in the crowded area in front of Donnarumma and taking advantage of a general sleep of the Rossoneri, still as ugly figurines, he finds the right glimmer to insert the ball of the sensational 1-0. Less than a quarter of an hour has passed and Milan would have plenty of time to recover, but immediately after the disadvantage they lose Castillejo who was already not well for a suspected stretch. And in this case Pioli was wrong to risk him on the eve of the double confrontation with Lazio and Juventus. The alternative on the same right wing is the Belgian Saelemaekers, who had impressed well in the final against Roma, but his entrance does not bring good results because Milan is too wrong in the conclusion phase and so Spal can even double.

FLOCCARI MASTERPIECE – With AC Milan unbalanced forward, a touch of Dabo is enough to free Floccari which is all just a little beyond the red and black penalty area and with a great right, he overtakes Donnarumma that he would never have expected such a close conclusion from almost 30 meters. Applause for Floccari and 2-0 for Spal, after just half an hour, who was not in the lead by two goals from the first game in the league, always at home, when in the end she was overtaken by Atalanta who began the series of his comebacks winning 3-2.

SPAL GIFT – Two shots, two goals: this is Spal’s profitable balance sheet, the opposite of AC Milan which continues to scare Letica with the repeated conclusions of Calhanoglu is Paqueta but without the necessary precision. By dint of insisting, however, here is the first result of the Rossoneri assaults, when Calhanoglu deflects the 2-1 ball on the fly, taking advantage of the cross Rebic and the veil of Saelemaekers. All useless, however, because the Var reports to the referee the offside position on the Calhanoglu pass. Having escaped the danger, the Spal instead of starting with the relief of 2-0 at the interval complicates life with an entry with united feet of D’Alessandro on Hernandez, whom Mariani rightly punishes with the red card. And so from the 42 ‘of the first half, Spal is forced to play outnumbered to defend the 2-0.

HOPE LEAO – Just to take advantage of this advantage, after the break Pioli plays the card Leao which is added to Rebic in attack, with the exclusion of Calabria, replaced by Saelemaekers in the four-man defense line. In practice, from the usual initial 4-2-3-1 AC Milan goes to the new one 4-3-1-2 with Calhanoglu playmaker behind the new pair of points, while Di Biagio replaces the two scorers Valoti and Floccari with Missiroli and Farias. However, having an extra man is not enough if ideas are missing in the middle of the field where Bennacer imitates himself at homework and Kessie only makes confusion. Leao and Rebic thus remain isolated, or overridden by Paquetà and Calhanoglu’s never quite precise attempts to finish, however. And so Spal defends himself in order, thanks to the omnipresent Dabo who buffers in front of the defense and tries to start the counterattack.

HALF HOUR OF IBRA – Since Milan produces more smoke than roast, Pioli inserts Laxalt instead of the useless regret Hernandez, but most of all Ibrahimovic instead of the off Rebic. It is the first half hour of the Swede after the pandemic, with the addition of Bonaventura shortly after, fifth and last change, in place of Bennacer in an Milan that has never been so offensive. Ibrahimovic, however, only manages to deflect his head over the crossbar, while Leao is colder and more precise than he is, because he is good at controlling a cross by Laxalt from the left and even better at kicking the right ball where Letica cannot go. There are 17 ‘left to go, including a 6’ recovery, and Milan are hoping to at least draw, while Di Biagio is sent off for protests. In truth, the draw seems impossible, but since the Rossoneri never find the door, the opponents think about helping them, with a crazy deviation of Vicari on a very good cross Saelemaekers who displaces his goalkeeper with his own goal of the 2-2- final. A second and even bigger gift after D’Alessandro’s expulsion foul, which brings Spal closer to relegation but does not bring AC Milan closer to Europe.



Scorers: 13 ” pt Valoti (Spa), 29 ‘pt Floccari (Spa), 34’ st Leao (Mi), 48 ‘st aut. Vicars (Spa)

Assist: 13 ‘pt Dabo (Spa)

SPAL: Letica; Tomovic, Vicari (from 29 ‘st Strefezza), Bonifazi (from 24’ st Salamon), Sala; D’Alessandro, Dabo (from 36 ‘st Cionek), Valdifiori, Valoti (from 1’ st Missiroli); Petagna, Floccari (from 1 ‘stFares). Att. Di Biagio. Available: Thiam, Meneghetti, Cionek, Fares, Salamon, Missiroli, Murgia, Tunjov, Strefezza, Castro, Cerri, Mendoza.

MILAN: Donnarumma G; Calabria (from 1 ‘st Leao), Gabbia, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez (from 22’ st Laxalt); Kessie, Bennacer (from 25 ‘st Bonaventura); Castillejo (from 15 ‘pt Saelemaekers), Paquetà, Calhanoglu; Rebic (from 22 ‘st Ibrahimovic). All. Pioli Available: Begovic, Donnarumma A., Conti, Kjaer, Laxalt, Biglia, Bonaventura, Krunic, Leao, Saelemaekers, Ibrahimovic, Maldini.

Booked: 45 ‘pt Valdifiori (Spa), 12’ st Letica (Spa), 37 ‘st Dabo (Spa), 38’ st Paquetà)

Red cards: 40 ‘pt D’Alessandro (Sp), 37’ st Di Biagio (Spa)

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