AC Milan 2-0 Bologna: Champions Milan back on top of Serie A thanks to Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud goals
Goals from Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud helped AC Milan seal their second win of the new Serie A campaign as they defeated Bologna 2-0 at San Siro to move to the top of the table. The result means it is the third consecutive season in which Milan have won their opening two home games of the league campaign - the first time that has been achieved since 2003.
Olivier Giroud of AC Milan celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Bologna FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 27, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/AC Milan via Getty
The Rossoneri doubled their advantage thirteen minutes into the second half, as Leao turned into the provider. The winger chipped a ball into the box, which Olivier Giroud met on the stretch to volley home.
Bologna’s best chance came from a set-piece routine midway through the second half, as substitute Nicola Sansone saw his shot from distance rattle the near post.
Stefano Pioli’s side comfortably saw the remainder of the game out to continue their unbeaten start to the new season.
For the most part, it was a trouble free evening for Milan. The Rossoneri did well to press the opposition, and forced them into giving the ball away whilst playing it out from the back. This also happened in midfield, which lead to quick transitions for Milan with significant overloads in the final third. Milan had nineteen attempts on goal compared to Bologna's eight. However, the home side limited Bologna to having most of their shots from outside the area.
Milan remain unbeaten, and next face Sassuolo on Tuesday at the Citta del Tricolore - the same venue which they sealed last season's Scudetto in front of 18,000 of their own fans. After that is the big one - the Derby del Madonnina against arch rivals Inter next Saturday.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Rafael Leao
AC Milan's Portuguese forward Rafael Leao celebrates after opening the scoring during the ITalian Serie A football match between AC Milan and Bologna on August 27, 2022 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)
Image credit: Getty Images
Milan's Portuguese rising star looked back to his best for the Rossoneri tonight after two opening games where he did not look at 100%. The 23-year-old was directly involved in both goals, scoring the opener and assisting Olivier Giroud for the second of the game.
In total, Leao had a pass completion rate of 92%, made three key passes, had two shots on target and won his only offensive aerial duel of the game.
21’ - GOAL! (Rafael Leao) - It's that man Rafael Leao! The winger calmly slots home after a quick break away! De Ketelaere wins the ball back in midfield from Schouten and instantly drives forward with the ball. He tees up Leao to his left, who has underlapped to come more central, and the Portuguese attacker makes no mistake with his right foot from close range.
27’ - SAVE! - Skorupski makes another key stop! Leao races up the pitch, and tees up Messias on the right, as the winger advances in on goal. He shoots from a slight angle towards the near post, but Skorupski parries the ball away before Leao misses the rebound - he puts it over the bar!
58’ - GOAL! (Olivier Giroud) - Giroud atones for his miss just seconds earlier! Leao plays a clipped ball into the area from the left-hand side, and Giroud does brilliantly to hit it on the stretch and the forward volleys it in beyond Skorupski!
67’ - OFF THE POST! - What a chance for Bologna! After a short delay due to some pushing and shoving in the area before the free-kick, the set-piece is taken short for Sansone. He takes a couple of touches before going for goal from 25-yards out, and his strike smacks the near post and comes back out!
84’ - GOOD REACTION SAVE - Leao's chipped cross from the right goal-side touchline towards the back post is met by Tonali, but Skorupski stands tall by his near post to make a point-blank save with his feet to deny Milan their third.
Since the beginning of 2022, no player has scored more Serie A home goals than Rafael Leão (eight, level with Dusan Vlahovic) - the Portuguese has scored each of his league goals in the process at the Meazza.
AC Milan have now lost just one of their last 26 Serie A meetings against Bologna, with the last defeat to the Rossoblu coming back in January 2016.