AC Milan blew the chance to go top of Serie A as Sassuolo fought from behind to win 3-1 at the San Siro.
With Napoli playing later this evening Milan had the opportunity to throw the ball into their title rival’s court and ask questions of their credentials, whilst also proving that last weekend's defeat to Fiorentina was just a flash in the pan result.
It all looked like it was going to plan after 20 minutes when the hosts went a goal up thanks to their captain Alessio Romagnoli. From a short corner routine the defender managed to escape his marker and head the ball into the back of the net at the near post.
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But Milan’s lead lasted less than three minutes, when the visitors hit back through a stunning Gianluca Scamacca effort. The striker found time and space at the edge of the box and bent his shot into the top corner, leaving Mike Maignan rooted to the spot.
Things then went from bad to worse for the hosts as they found themselves a goal behind within ten minutes of conceding their first goal. They failed to deal with a Sassuolo corner, with the ball falling to Scamacca who fired his shot at the goal which deflected off Simon Kjær to make it 2-1.
At the start of the second half Stefano Pioli made a collection of changes in order to kick start his side into action, but despite the switch in personnel they struggled to break down Sassuolo, who decided on the best form of defence is attack.
This tactical approach paid off for the visitors when they went 3-1 through Sassuolo talisman Domenico Berardi, who wiggled his way through the Milan box, before slotting the ball past Maignan, to put the game beyond doubt.
Next up for Milan is an away trip to take on Genoa, while Sassuolo continue their top of the table encounters as they host Napoli.
TALKING POINT - MILAN'S MIDSEASON STUTTER
Having won away against Aletico Madrid in the Champions League, it felt like the Rossoneri's season was back on track, but that wasn't the case this evening. The would be title challengers failed to deal with the attacking threat of a Sassuolo side, who have been struggling for form lately. In truth over the course of 90 minutes Milan looked devoid any tactical nous to deal with their 13th placed visitors who played them off the pitch.
MAN OF THE MATCH: GIANLUCA SCAMACCA (SASSUOLO)
The 22 year-old brought the presence of a striker well beyond his years, with intelligent forward play that gave Sassuolo a focal point against a Milan side who have been nearly impenetrable at home. His over play was coupled with a top draw finish and being in the right place at the right time to be involved in the all important second goal.
AC Milan: Maignan 5, Florenzi 5, Kjær 6, Romagnoli 5, Hernandez 5, Bakayoko 5, Bennacer 5, Saelemaekers 5, Díaz 5, Leão 5, Ibrahimovic 5
Subs: Kessié 4, Messias4, Tonali 4, Pellegri N/A, Kalulu N/A
Sassuolo: Consigli 6, Müldür 6, Ayhan 6, Ferrari 6, Kyriakopoulos 7, Lopez 7, Matheus Henrique 8, Frattesi 7, Berardi 8, Raspadori 7, Scamacca 9
Subs: Defrel 6, Harroui6, Toljan N/A, Chiriches N/A, Traorè N/A
21’ - GOAL! 1-0 Milan (Romagnoli) - From the short corner routine Romagnoli manages to escape his marker and heads the ball into the back of the net at the near post
24’ - GOAL! 1-1 Sassuolo (Scamacca) - What a response from the visitors as they hit back within 3 minutes. From the edge of the box Scamacca tries his luck and bends his shot into the top corner. What a stunning goal
33’ - GOAL! 2-1 Sassuolo (Kjær) - Within ten minutes the game has been turned on its head. The corner is sent in and Milan fail to deal with it. The ball then falls to Scamacca who fires his shot at the goal, which deflects off Kjær past Maignan
67’ - GOAL! 3-1 Sassuolo (Berardi) - It's that man Berardi, he loves scoring against Milan! This time the Italian wiggled his way through the box, before slotting the ball past Maignan
77' - RED CARD! Romagnoli gets a straight red for dragging down Defrel who was in on goal
- AC Milan have lost points from a leading situation for the first time in Serie A this season: they last did that in the competition in April 2021, also against Sassuolo at the Meazza (1-2)
- Berardi has scored 10 goals in Serie A vs AC Milan, his favourite target in the top flight: he has been directly involved in 14 goals in 15 matches against the Rossoneri in the competition (10 goals, four assists)
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