Today, we’ll take a look back at Milan’s highest points this season and the significance that they had on the season, for Milan, players individually and, other teams in the league.
5. Milan 4-3 Sassuolo AND Milan 2-1 Fiorentina
In Milan-Sassuolo, Milan took the lead on 8 minutes through a deflected strike by Jack Bonaventura. However, two minutes later it was 1-1 after an awful back pass by Abate allowed Politano to draw level from the visitors.
Milan have traditionally struggled against the neroverdi having lost 4-3, 3-2, 2-0, and 1-2 in the previous three seasons against them. So, the way the second half started was no surprise.
10 minutes into the start of the second half it was 1-3 for the visitors, and it’d looked like one of those days for il diavolo after Ex-Milan center back Acerbi put Di Francesco’s side ahead before Pellegrini seemingly put the result beyond doubt. Yet, that was far from the case.
Monetlla decided to take off captain Riccardo Montolivo for 18-year old Manuel Locatelli right after it was made 1-3. What a fantastic decision that was, not just for the game, but the season.
Bacca scored his 6th goal of the season on matchday 7 with a penalty that was won by Niang. Then, just a few minutes later, a Bonaventura’s corner was headed out to the top of the box, which was met by the sweet left footed half volley of a teenager by the name of Locatelli.
But, the comeback wasn’t complete yet. A short corner found it’s way to Frenchman, Mbaye Niang who played a teasing floated cross into the box which was met by a leaping Paletta to complete the turnaround from 1-3 to 4-3 in just eight minutes. Donnarumma had to make a great save in the final moments to deny Politano a brace.
That result was one that continued the three match unbeaten run for Milan and stretched it to six. This match started three consecutive wins against Sassuolo, Chievo, and Juventus.
In the end, Milan, Fiorentina, and Inter went head to head for the final Europa League spot, which eventually went to the former. Obviously a key to who got it was in the head to head between the three teams, and it did Milan a world of good when they defeated Fiorentina 2-1 in the San Siro.
There was a flurry of early goals on match-day 25. Kucka headed home Sosa’s cross just passed the quarter-hour mark. However, Kalanic equalized for la viola just four minutes after Milan took the lead.
Chiesa got the assist for the Croatian, but it should’ve been disallowed as the young winger was in a offside position. Not to worry though, as eleven minutes later, Super Deulofeu came to the rescue with his first goal in a red and black jersey, with a lovely curling effort from the edge of the 18.
That 2-1 victory for Montella against his former employers was a massive one as Milan finished above Fiorentina by three points.
4. Inter 2-2 Milan
The Derby is always a special occasion full of drama, and the second Milan Derby this season was no exception. Inter struck twice before the break, despite Milan having been the better side.
i rossoneri continued the pressure in the second half to try to find a way back into the match but the ball just didn’t want to go into the Inter net. The “home” team started wasting time early on to try to break up any rhythm and obviously waste time in the match.
Romagnoli got one back for Milan in the 83rd minute as the pressure continued for Montella’s men, and they got the least they deserved; a 97th minute equalizer courtesy of Colombian Zapata. That match was a role reversal of the first time they met, it was Inter who outplayed Milan and then Inter leveled at the death.
If Inter walked out victors in the derby, they would have been one point ahead of their city rivals, but instead the last gasp Zapata goal retained Milan’s position in 6th place and two points above Inter. That draw sparked a four match losing streak for Inter, and all in all was part of an eight match win-less skit with Pioli being sacked after just two points in that time.
3. Milan 3-0 Bologna
It wasn’t a match for the record books or the highlight reals, but it is one with the most significance for Milan’s future in the recent years.
After a first half in which Milan failed to take advantage of a lackluster Bologna side, Deulofeu, Honda, and Lapadula all scored inside the last twenty minutes to secure Milan’s return to Europe for the first time in three years.
2. Milan 1-0 Juventus
Manuel Locatelli broke onto the scene with his wonder strike against Sassuolo, but his hit against Juve in Serie A was even better. A stunning shot without much of an angle that went crossbar and down, leaving Buffon hopeless.
Deep into stoppage time, Sami Khedira hit an absolute rocket which was destined for the top corner, if it wasn’t for Donnarumma’s heroics Juventus would have walked away from the San Siro with a point.
Milan and Juventus is always full of controversy, and in the first half Pjanic had a free kick disallowed because Bonucci had interfered with play, much to the dismay of the Juventus players and fans.
This result for Milan was the first time they had defeated Juve since 2012, a run spanning in seven straight defeats.
1. Juventus 1-1 (3-4) Milan
When you win your first trophy in five years, there has to be some cause for celebration.
Juventus took the lead early on through Chiellini, but soon after Bonaventura equalized with a world class glancing header after a teasing delivery from Suso.
Both teams had chances in the match to win it, with Dybala blazing over in extra time and Romagnoli having a header come back off against the cross bar.
Yet, in the end, Milan ran out victories on penalties despite Lapadula’s failure to convert the first penalty. Mandzukic hit the crossbar, and Donnarumma saved Dybala’s penalty with an absolutely world class save, which allowed Pasalic to step up and score the winning penalty. Not only was it Milan’s first trophy in the last five years, it was the 31st and final of the Berlusconi era.