SERIE A | Empoli 1-3 Milan : Rossoneri put off a resilient display

Last Updated on 01/10/2022 by

In a thrilling game on Saturday night at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, AC Milan defeated Empoli 3-1.

With two goals in stoppage time from Fode Ballo-Toure and Rafael Leao, after the Portuguese talent’s cheeky idea to send Ante Rebic clear and an Empoli equalizer, Milan demonstrated their perseverance.

pic @acm twitter

While Divock Origi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Florenzi joined by Maignan, Hernandez, and Messias in the Rossoneri injury crisis, Rafael Leao returned from suspension after missing the 2-1 loss to Napoli. Despite missing Lorenzo Tonelli and Ardian Ismajli, Empoli was encouraged by their season-opening victory at Bologna.

From six yards out, Olivier Giroud attempted a sneaky back-heel flick that was deflected wide. Guglielmo Vicario then used his legs to deny Leao after Charles De Ketelaere provided the assist.

In his first game of the year, Ciprian Tatarusanu appeared rusty and nearly let Liam Henderson’s shot slip under him at the near post.

Alexis Saelemaekers missed an opportunity to capitalize on a deft Leao run and pull-back by turning wide of the far stick. The Belgian then forced Vicario to make a save shortly after.

Giroud’s cross barely missed Leao’s head in front of an open goal, and Saelemaekers left the game after hurting his left knee. After that, Davide Calabria appeared to have a hamstring strain and left the game, and Nicolas Haas was denied a goal by a last-ditch Fode Ballo-Toure block.

Vicario deflected a Leao effort onto the upright, but it wouldn’t have counted because Giroud was offside during the buildup. Alberto Grassi also left the game injured.

Following the restart, Marko Pjaca sped past Ismael Bennacer before Kjaer blocked his shot and Razvan Marin narrowly missed the rebound.

On the 55th minute, Olivier Giroud had a chance to give Milan the lead, but his free kick went over the crossbar and over the bar.

Vicario made an incredible reaction save by palming off the line Sandro Tonali’s deflected free kick as he quickly adjusted. In a one-on-one situation with Nadim Bajrami, who had brushed off Tonali to advance, Tatarusanu also had to make a superb save.

With a very cunning play, Milan took the lead by taking advantage of the fact that a throw-in does not count as being offside. Leao, who had plenty of room, waved his arms for Tonali toss the ball in his general direction, allowing him to roll across for Ante Rebic to tap in unimpeded.

When the Lammers assist wobbled just in front of him, Bajrami ballooned over and a Brahim Diaz free kick narrowly missed the target.

Tatarusanu’s positioning was questionable and the reason he couldn’t get there, but Bajrami made up for it with a fantastic free kick curled towards the far upper corner from just outside the D.

Even though Empoli was still celebrating, Milan took back the lead, so the game wasn’t over. Fode Ballo-Toure was prepared to volley in from close range at the back post after Krunic nodded down a ball that had been floated in from the left.

Empoli attempted to respond, but by doing so, Leao was able to sprint away on the counterattack and defeat Vicario with an absurdly cool-headed lob.

It’s time to take a deep breath and process what just occurred. At Stadio Carlo Castellani, both Empoli and Milan squandered numerous opportunities in the opening 75 minutes before the game began. After converting Lead’s cutback, Rebic scored the game’s opening goal, which appeared to be sufficient after 91 minutes. Bajrami curled in a sensational free-kick to send the home supporters into raptures, but he had other plans. Sadly, Empoli became distracted by the excitement and exposed themselves, allowing Ballo-Toure to score with just a few seconds left. With the game’s final shot, Leao scored a well-deserved goal of his own, and Milan will win all three points.

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