Milan 2-0 Lecce: Leao shines in the crucial battle with Lecce

Last Updated on 24/04/2023 by

Milan defeated Lecce 2-0 at San Siro. It was a much needed win for Milan. Rafael Leao scored a stunning brace and showed his talents once again.

Seven changes were made by Milan to the starting lineup from the match against Bologna last weekend, with many well-known players making a comeback. Tomori paired Thiaw at centre back, moving Kalulu to right back, Hernandez reclaimed his position at left back, dropping Ballo-Toure to the sidelines. Tommaso Pobega and Vrancx were replaced by Tonali and Krunic in midfield, and Leao, Diaz, and Messias replaced Origi, De Ketelaere, and Saelemaekers in attack.

Milan vs Lecce
pic @ twitter

Lecce only made one change to the starting lineup from the 1-1 draw with Sampdoria 7 days prior: Banda took Strefezza’s place on the wing.

Leao easily outran Blin down the left flank, but Di Francesco tracked back all the way to the edge of his own penalty area to assist his teammate in recovering the ball and releasing the initial pressure.

As soon as he saw a gap in the middle of the field, Diaz dropped his shoulder and sprinted past Blin. He sent cross to the penalty box while watching for Rebic’s run, but Krunic accidentally blocked his path and deflected the ball behind for a goal kick.

Tonali gained control of the ball inside the centre circle and tried to make a pass toward the right, but instead he sent the ball out of play to help Ceesay, who was still down after engaging Tomori in an aerial duel. After catching his breath, the Lecce striker appeared to be able to continue, and the visitors gave the ball back to Maignan to restart the game.

Blin used his strength to wrestle the ball away from Diaz outside of Milan’s penalty area before crossing it flatly for Ceesay. It was a risky delivery that appeared to target the forward, but Maignan was quick off his line to make an important catch.

Milan vs Lecce
pic @ twitter

Hernandez rushed into the penalty area to receive Leao’s pass, but Baschirotto immediately knocked him over. The center-clumsy back’s and awkward attempt convinced the referee that Milan should receive a penalty, and Milan was awarded it. The referee later reversed it after returning from the touchline monitor. On second thought, it appeared the center-back made just enough contact with the ball to stick his toe in and make first contact.

On the right wing, Gendrey had an acre of room to deliver in a cross, and the ball skimmed through the oncoming bodies at the penalty spot. It kindly rebounded up to Banda at the far post, but his headed attempt smacked off the goal frame. A relief for Milan for sure.

Hernandez, who was positioned far out on the left wing, attempted to clip a hopeful cross into the penalty area, but Umtiti rose to the top of the play to win the ball, allowing Blin to forcefully clear it.

Tomori, who was standing in the centre of the circle, cast a long glance before sending a cross into the Lecce penalty area. Rebic got in contact with his header with precisely the right amount of timing, heading the ball up and giving Falcone a relatively simple save.

In the middle of the pitch, Diaz managed to elude Hjulmand and pass Hernandez towards the byline, but the full-cross back’s was deflected behind for a corner by a sliding Gendrey.

Milan vs Lecce
pic @ twitter

On 40th minute, Messias was waiting to receive the pass when Tonali took Milan’s corner low towards the near post. The winger gave his teammate the ball back right away, and Tonali delivered a beautiful cross to the far post. Leao was the player to rise highest and score a goal, giving Milan a 1-0 lead.

Lecce were permitted to continue attacking on the break while handball claims against Baschirotto went unanswered. However, the visitors came away empty-handed as Blin was unable to turn in Gallo’s cross at the far post, rather sending it wide for a goal-kick.

Following a head-to-head collision among Gendrey and Leao, the referee instantly blew his whistle, seeing both players to the ground in some discomfort. The Milan winger was the first to rise, and after exchanging a sincere handshake and restarting play with the ball in his hands, the two men.

Right before Thiaw reached the edge of the penalty box, Messias cut inside and played a pass back to him. The center-back instantly launched an effort towards goal, which he claimed hit Hjulmand in the hand. However, the referee did not deem the block to be illegal, and Lecce were able to clear away the ball.

Milan vs Lecce
pic @ twitter

For Ceesay, Gallo played a forward pass down the left side of the field. Ceesay tried to let the ball roll ahead of him before he caught up to it and beat Hernandez. The forward made a deft move, but he lost his balance and ball went for Milan throw.

The referee ruled that Baschirotto only made shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Leao when he brought him down just outside the penalty area. Strefezza, riding Bennacer’s challenge, slammed a drifting shot from 22 yards out that Maignan, with a quick flick of the glove, palmed over the crossbar.

After a lovely primary turn on Blin, Leao entered the penalty area and advanced past Baschirotto before trying a challenging chip over Falcone from close distance. The goalkeeper was rendered helpless, but Leao’s off-target finish spared him.

Leao scored a goal all by himself after intercepting Bennacer’s errant pass towards the centre circle. Leao then drove the length of Lecce’s half, eluding Hjulmand and Baschirotto before approaching the edge of the box and dragging a deft finish in the back of the far post with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Milan vs Lecce
pic @ twitter

Rebic’s backheel flick found Origi near the byline, but the striker’s subsequent cross was quickly cleaned up by the defence after much squirming away from danger. De Ketelaere propelled Milan up the pitch before connecting with Origi, who swung a cross for the waiting Rebic. Gallo approached and took just the right action, leading it around a corner.

Oudin headed Bannacer’s corner at the near post. The ball fell at Hernandez who instantly smashed a volley through the crowd. The move was stopped when Kalulu touched the ball while he was in an offside position.


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