Milan 5-2 Dudelange: Entertaining second-half display sees Rossoneri complete turnaround

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan scored four goals in the final 24 minutes at San Siro on Thursday night, avoiding a shock result against F91 Dudelange in the Europa League.

Patrick Cutrone netted his fourth goal in four Europa League appearances so far this season to open the scoring midway through the first-half.

However, the visiting side roared back, equalising through Dominik Stolz before the break and taking the lead through David Turpel just after half-time.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side dug themselves out of hole though, with two own-goals, a Hakan Calhanoglu strike and a Fabio Borini goal – all inside the last 25 minutes – completing the turnaround and avoiding an embarrassing result.

The result means that the Diavolo will travel to Athens in December knowing that anything other than a loss by 2+ goals will see them into the knockout stages.

Milan almost took the lead inside six minutes when Higuain – having received a feed from Hakan Calhanoglu with his back to goal – spun around and fired a low effort inches wide of the left post.

Just a minute later Calhanoglu tested Landry Bonnefoi in the Dudelange goal with a strike that was curling inside the far right post, but the visiting goalkeeper was equal to the effort and parried it to safety at full stretch.

Bonnefoi then made yet another save moments later, this time going back to denying Higuain who unleashed a fierce curling shot that was heading for the corner having been fed by Alen Halilovic.

The Rossoneri were then given a small warning by Dudelange as Melisse was given space to run onto a loose ball and loop an effort comfortably over Pepe Reina’s crossbar in the 15th minute.

There was a touch of good fortune about Milan’s 21st minute opener, as a cross from Davide Calabria was flicked into Cutrone’s path by Higuain, and Bonnefoi allowed an effort straight at him to squirm under his body and over the line.

However, after a lull in proceedings, the away side drew level in spectacular fashion. A controversial corner was awarded to Dudelange and was not cleared, the ball eventually falling to Stolz who fired a thunderous half-volley from just inside the box which beat Reina and flew into the top corner.

There were half appeals for a penalty just before half-time as Cutrone was floored, but the referee waved away the appeals.

Milan were rocked just three minutes into the second-half, as a mess up at the back allowed Turpel to fire a sweet strike across Pepe Reina and into the far corner to spark jubilant scenes on the Dudelange bench.

Stolz wasn’t far away from making it 3-1 just moments later; his fizzing low shot falling just wide of the left post.

With just under 25 minutes left, the Diavolo restored parity thanks to another stroke of fortune. A low shot from Jose Mauri was parried away, the ball eventually being recycled to Hakan Calhanoglu whose teasing cross eventually found its way into the top corner via a deflection.

Just minutes later Milan completed the turnaround and took the lead. A counter-attack led by Higuain ended with the ball at Calhanoglu’s feet once again, and the Turkey international beat Bonnefoi with a precise low shot into the bottom left corner from 25 yards out.

The Rossoneri got a fourth not long after; a ball in to the near post flicked goalwards by Stefan Simic before finding the top corner, with Tom Schnell once again credited with the own-goal.

Substitute Borini added the icing on the cake with 10 minutes to go, firing home a rebound with his first touch of the game to make it 5-2.

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