AC Milan 2-0 Lazio: Pulisic and Okafor bag as Rossoneri make it three in a row

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan made it three wins in a row in Serie A as they scored twice in the second half to beat Lazio 2-0 at San Siro on Saturday evening.

After a frustrating first 45 minutes where Lazio aimed to frustrate, Milan got their breakthrough just before the hour mark as Christian Pulisic powered in a cut-back from Rafael Leao to open the scoring.

The Rossoneri were in command of the game from that point, and they got their second in the closing stages when Leao again found a team-mate with a pull-back from the byline, this time Noah Okafor benefitting as he came off the bench and netted his second for the club.

Lazio rarely threatened, and the win – plus another vital clean sheet – moves Milan three points clear at the top while waiting for Inter to play Salernitana in the late kick-off.

Stefano Pioli made a number of changes to the starting line-up that won against Cagliari in midweek as Mike Maignan, Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud came in, with Milan’s 4-3-3 matching up with their opponents formation-wise.

Milan made a slow start to the game in truth as both sides were happy to feel each other out in the opening exchanges and wait for a mistake from their opponent, one which could have yielded the opener for the visitors.

The Rossoneri sloppily gave possession away in their own half after a miscommunication that Kjaer seemed most guilty of, and Felipe Anderson surged into the gap but slashed his effort into the side-netting when a square might have been on.

The first 25 minutes would best be described as ‘scrappy’ and were perhaps symbolised by Leao getting the ball stuck under his foot when one-on-one with his man in a dangerous position, and when Adli and Guendouzi flew into a challenge that nearly injured both of them.

Referee Davide Massa was beginning to draw some jeers from Milan fans for questionable decisions, such as when Christian Pulisic was bundled to the floor with no foul given and it led to Felipe Anderson firing over from distance.

Pioli was forced into an early change just before the half-hour mark as Ruben Loftus-Cheek was withdrawn in place of Yunus Musah. The Englishman headed straight down the tunnel, implying some kind of injury problem.

Provedel was tested for the first time in the 33rd minute as Leao managed to dribble into the box off the left and unleashed a powerful shot towards the near post that was parried behind for a corner.

Calabria was the next to go down after a Castellanos shot was easily saved by Maignan, as the Milan captain was caught by a flailing elbow from Zaccagni that VAR decided not to intervene with.

With one minute of normal time remaining in the first half, Milan were inches away from taking the lead. A good low cross from the right side was fired first time by Giroud at Provedel who parried to to the feet of Reijnders, who was off balance and tried to back-heel it in but could only hit the outside of the post.

The second half began in the same way the first half did, with the two teams again trying to string together moves but with the final ball not there.

Just before the hour mark, Milan got the opening goal and it was just as the pressure was building. A nice pass from Adli to Reijnders was then sent through to Leao, who had the composure to look up and pull it back from the byline for Pulisic to fire in first time.

There was a big chance to double the advantage a few minutes later when Lazio surrendered possession inside their own half and Tomori was the surprise leader of a three-on-two break, yet he went for goal and saw his shot blocked rather than feeding either of his team-mates.

With just over 20 minutes left, Pioli made three changes. Alessandro Florenzi came on for Davide Calabria, Tommaso Pobega replaced Yacine Adli and Olivier Giroud made way for Noah Okafor.

Musah was not far away from getting his first goal for a Milan in an excellent way as he pivoted brilliantly inside the box after claiming a loose ball and fired on the bounce, but Provedel made a smart save. From the resulting corner, Tomori had a free header from just behind the penalty spot that the Lazio keeper also claimed.

Provedel continued to be the busier of the two goalkeepers, again making a smart reaction stop to deny Pulisic who fired on goal first time from a similar spot to where he scored from after Theo’s cut-back.

Reijnders was the next player to have a chance with 12 minutes left on the clock. He picked up possession deep in Lazio’s half and dribbled past three players into the box, hitting the side netting with his eventual attempt.

The goal scorer Pulisic made way with eight minutes left on the clock as Samuel Chukwueze took his place in the final change of the game.

The Rossoneri’s defence wasn’t called into action much in either half but Florenzi stood up to the task perfectly when Isaksen was bearing down on goal after a weaving run, cutting out the danger with a great slide.

With just over two minutes of normal time left, Milan got their killer second goal. Again it was all Leao who created it down the left side with a run to the byline, and his perfect cut-back was fired in first time by Okafor for his second goal in as many games.

Lazio thought they had made it a nervy ending for the over 70,000 fans at San Siro when Pedro curled a shot into the top corner from distance, however Immobile was offside in the build-up and it didn’t stand.

Tags AC Milan Milan Lazio


  1. Such a good second half. Was kinda worried after that abysmal first half, but you can’t count off Leao. Pulisic and Tomori with another great game. Adli also had a good performance. But guys we need to talk about Musah here, I knew he was good but wasn’t expecting him to be this good. I heard some Valencia fans cheering for his exit. He is still 20 y/o. We could have easily scored 3–4 goals if Reijnders was more clinical with his shots.

  2. Another comfortable win… And I got slammed for saying we’d bounce back after the inter meltdown, just like we did against Atalanta 5-1 loss…

  3. A well deserved win. The score could be 4 or 5-0 if Reijnders have better finishing, Tomori pass to Leao or Giroud, and Chukuweze have better finishing too.

    Salute to Lazio GK. He made a lot of save.

  4. Good game. Lazio is not an easy or small team to beat, this is a match against one of the best team in Serie A.
    Overall it was a good game..

  5. Tomori was great, Pulisic is a workhorse with end product. He’s probably our mvp right now. Scores, assists and works tirelessly. I think he’s MOTM

    Rafa shows his class yet again but I still want more from him, he drifts in and out of games. I want the Leao of Napoli last season.

    Adli did well, Musah did well, but I think it’s time for Okafor to start as no9. It pains me to say it as I love the guy, but Giroud isn’t effective anymore. He’s too in and out of the game. Okafor has shown great movement and box awareness on both his goals. It’s time for him.

    On the negative side I found the general tactics quite frustrating, having watched Milan since 1988 I’ve rarely seen a Milan so content at conceding possession at the San Siro and allow an average team like lazio to spread the ball around with us chasing for long periods of time. This wasn’t City or Madrid…we need to play with a greater intensity. Theo also looked uninterested today and half hearted at times.

    1. Re the negative side, that’s Pioli for you. This Milan doesn’t outplay the opposition, it relies on moments of individual effort to create something. Case in point are the two goals scored today, which don’t happen without Leao’s blistering pace. This is the reason we don’t break down teams in low blocks. It takes a team effort, game plan and tactical awareness. Leao can’t do it by himself when there are three players in front of him with no space behind them. We can still get it done like this on most occassions, it seems, as we are 6-1, but expect the problems against low block teams or savvy managers to continue.

      1. As usual vero rossonero doesn’t have football knowledge. He thinks the two goals relies on individual efforts lmao.

        1. The elephant in the living room for you, is that he is correct and you are not. Lazio had prolonged periods of ball possession making us run around like headless chickens. There was one period in the first half where we are at least a yard off their slick passing. Luckily they couldn’t produce anything in the attacking phase. Lazio came to frustrate and keep the ball which they did well. Once again it was painful watching us try and break them down at times.

          Vero Rossonero is right, both our goals came from explosions of Magic from Leao. Milan aren’t connecting as a cohesive unit at the moment: it’s bitty, it’s not clicking. Because of this we are relying on moments of brilliance.

          That is just an observation

      1. Currently 14th in Serie A having lost 4 of 7…yes they had a decent season last year but clearly cannot juggle both Serie A and Europe. They have also lost one of the best Midfielders in the world.

        Yes I think they’re average. If you don’t then you are more than likely one of these nouveau ‘soccer fans’ who clearly don’t understand what it is to be Milan. We are not talking Lazio of Salas, Nesta, Crespo, Nedved and Veron are we…they are average.

        Align that with your inability to draft one grammatically correct sentence and you will see why your opinion means little.

  6. Great game! Every each player played well !. To be honest wasn’t expecting Adli to be that calm and solid.
    Musah was excellent, I wished he would score, also Reijnders.

    P.S – Giroud sometimes can’t hold the ball for a second, maybe Okafor should start more often when we need to hold the ball at forward.

    1. Both Musah and Reijnders were unlucky today, for a moment it looked like Reijnders back heel went In. Musah had that great shot second half too on the half volley. Both look like they will develop into top midfielders

  7. Great game. Especially that 2nd half. Leao is leao, pulisic was great tonight. Tomorri is lookimg good again ( knock on wood). Musah good, liked they guy from his first 5 mins this season. He’s got a lot of potential, can do very well. Giroud is showing his age, hell at 37 he is outdoing himself. Okafor needs more mins, 2 goals as a sub already. He seems like a good poacher and moves a lot. Elephant in the room , Adli. Not many expected this kind of Adli. Spot on passes so far, even the long ones. A bit more muscle (to get him better at defending) he can be a great “pirlo”. Anyways, onto mid week win.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.