AC Milan 2-1 Fiorentina: Own-goal gives Rossoneri dramatic late win

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan made sure that they went into the break the right way by beating Fiorentina 2-1, but the scoreline does not reveal how dramatic the three points came.

It took Milan less than two minutes to take the lead as Rafael Leao continued his impressive record against Fiorentina, finishing with composure after latching on to a lay-off from Olivier Giroud, but Antonin Barak’s deflected shot ensured it was 1-1 at the break.

Just when all seemed lost, the Rossoneri stole all three points in fortunate circumstances as substitute Aster Vranckx’s cross was diverted into his own net by Nikola Milenkovic as Fiorentina players surrounded the referee asking for a foul.

The foul never came, and the win means that Milan go into the break in second place, eight points behind Napoli but crucially with some breathing room to fifth place.

Stefano Pioli chose to make five changes compared to the side that drew 0-0 with Cremonese in midweek as Pierre Kalulu and Theo Hernandez came back into the defence, with Rade Krunic and Rafael Leao in the trident behind Olivier Giroud, who like Theo returned after serving a suspension.

It took just 90 seconds for Milan to take the lead and it came through Leao, who got his name on the scoresheet against Fiorentina at San Siro once again. The ball was rolled into Giroud who flicked it first time to his right, with the Portuguese winger surging through on goal and finishing inside the far post after opening up his body.

Fiorentina responded with a dangerous chance of their own as Mandragora found space down the right side of Milan’s box and looked to cut a ball back to Cabral from a narrow angle however he hit it straight at Ciprian Tatarusanu.

La Viola’s excellent response continued and they were inches away from levelling when Barak’s turn triggered a counter-attack in which the away side outnumbered their hosts, yet Biraghi’s shot after being fed on the overlap rattled off the near post and away to safety much to Tatarusanu’s relief.

In the 28th minute, Fiorentina got the equaliser their pressure had perhaps deserved in truth. Milan twice failed to deal with a ball in their own box and Kalulu’s clearance fell straight to Barak, whose shot took a deflection off Thiaw that routed it under Tatarusanu as he didn’t react quick enough.

Milan needed to steady their sloppy performance and did, but two minutes before the break they really should have retaken the lead. Tonali won the ball back in Fiorentina’s half to spark a three-on-two counter-attack, with Leao giving the ball back to him but the Italian’s shot from a narrow angle was blocked for a corner.

There was another chance after that too as Venuti made a goal-line clearance on Brahim Diaz. The Spaniard was one-on-one with the goalkeeper after Giroud was bundled off the ball and it fell to him, yet as he lifted it over Terracciano the Viola right-back was on hand to desperately clear it just as Leao was rushing to knock it in.

The first big chance of the second half went to Milan, and it was Giroud who was very close to making it five goals in five games. Kalulu charged down the right after good work from Brahim Diaz and cut the ball back to his compatriot, whose first time flick was kept out by Terracciano at the second attempt.

The chances continued to come and Leao was the latest to let fly after Theo cut infield and found the No.17 with a good pass and the resulting shot was deflected narrowly wide of the near post from around 20 yards out.

A double change came for Milan in the 56th minute as Thiaw made way for Sergino Dest, and Brahim Diaz was withdrawn in place of Divock Origi.

Right on the hour mark Fiorentina were baffled that the referee did not go and check a tackle from Tomori on Ikone inside the area, but the replays showed the English centre-back got a touch on the ball that negated it being a stonewall spot kick.

With just over 20 minutes left, Tatarusanu was called into action by his own team-mate as Kalulu rushed around to thwart Jovic but in doing so stabbed the ball towards the bottom corner, with the Romanian making a smart low save.

Giroud wasn’t far away from giving Milan the lead with an acrobatic effort to reach a Leao cross that was behind him yet his bicycle kick ended up drifting wide with Terracciano seemingly stranded.

Leao missed a huge opportunity to potentially win the game in the 78th minute when Dest found space to run into and dinked a ball behind the last defensive line where the winger was waiting and was in an onside position, though he leaned back and lifted his shot into the crowd.

Ante Rebic and Aster Vranckx were each brought on in the final 15 minutes, with the latter replacing Krunic and the former coming on for Tonali.

Fiorentina could have snatched all three points themselves on the break in the final minute of normal time when Ikone’s shot curled past Tatarusanu but Tomori was waiting on the line to block it.

In dramatic fashion, it was Milan who took the lead in the third minute of added time. With Fiorentina demanding a foul in midfield, the Rossoneri broke down the right wing where Vranckx whipped a teasing ball into the box that was nearly met by the head of Rebic but sailed past everyone, hitting the knee of Milenkovic and bouncing in for an own-goal.

Tags AC Milan Milan-Fiorentina


  1. Still, no Kjaer no clean-sheet. We’re outnumbered (and outclassed) in the midfield. Another double edged performance by Leao. On one side, he scored that magnificent goal, on the other side he missed another sitter and loose several balls leading to a dangerous counter. Luck’s in our side tonight, and maybe that’s just what we need. Forza Milan and grazie Ivan.

  2. Brilliant by Pioli. Play Thiaw, he may score an own goal and we struggle, but at least Kjear will be rested for our next game, in january…
    Diaz and Krunic absolute disaster as most times. Not too long until I’ll join the ‘Pioli out’ crowd. We are clearly going backwards as a team.

  3. How in the world has pioli kept vranckx in the bench while useless krunic has been playing almost regularly. Wth has been happening to pioli. We’ve been playing horribly for quite some time now. Better get his act together because 4th place is in serious doubt with this form.

  4. Lackluster performance overall, but in the end victory was achieved. Nevertheless, Pioli needs to make good use of the break during the Cup to adjust the team, and in January the board will also must do their job, signing some good RW and perhaps another forward – I guess Origi won’t deliver the goods, honestly. As for CDK, it’s just a matter of time.

  5. ” Not too long until I’ll join the ‘Pioli out’ crowd. We are clearly going backwards as a team.”

    Well, a serioulsky deranged lunatic will do this currently.

  6. What a struggle that game was and it’s been the same in many matches this season. It’s so frustrating to watch this team play at times. I think we peaked last season and after failing to improve the squad adequately, it’s very clear to see that we’re not at the level of the top clubs week in week out. We rely on a few players to carry this team and when they’re not available or not in form, we are completely lost. This squad needs some real quality additions and squad depth. If our new owners are not willing to act quickly, we will just remain an average team.

  7. Horrible. My god, watching parts of this game was painful. It was worse than 2016 Milan at times. Fiorentina should have put the game to bed several times. This winter break couldn’t come soon enough, and things need to change when we return in January. Any half-decent team would destroy us if we played like this. Tottenham will have a field day, too.

    1. “Tottenham will have a field day, too.”

      Maybe M&M gets the funds to buy 3-4 new players that are immediately given a spot in the starting 11 and Milan plays the whole year without any defeats? 😀 😀

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