Fiorentina 2-1 AC Milan: Lacklustre Rossoneri deservedly see winning run end

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s winning run was stopped at four games as they fell 2-1 to Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday night.

It was a poor performance from Milan overall and a worrying regression from the win over Atalanta last weekend as Fiorentina seemed generally sharper, hungrier and more dangerous, racking up a number of chances in the first half.

The home side got their opening goal just after the break as Nicolo Gonzalez converted a penalty that Fikayo Tomori had given away, and then Luka Jovic’s close range header not long after coming off the bench effectively sealed it.

Theo Hernandez did get one back in the final minutes with a powerful shot but there were to be no late heroics as the Rossoneri fell to a 2-1 defeat and once again made life difficult for themselves in the top four race.

Stefano Pioli made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Atalanta last Sunday as Ismael Bennacer came in for the suspended Rade Krunic, Charles De Ketelaere replaced the injured Brahim Diaz and Ante Rebic took the spot of Rafael Leao who also served a one-game ban.

Fiorentina undoubtedly started the game better and created all of the early danger, winning three corners in the opening 10 minutes, the last of which came after a decisively and perfectly-timed tackle from Malick Thiaw on Jonathan Ikone when he was about to shoot inside the box.

Thiaw did not time his next challenge well as he fouled Cabral right on the edge of the box inches away from it being a penalty, and Mike Maignan was called into his first stop as Bonaventura got his free-kick through the wall but seeing it parried.

On 13 minutes the game stopped and a minute of applause commenced in memory of Davide Astori five years to the day since his tragic passing when he was the captain of Fiorentina and Pioli was head coach.

Maignan was forced into making a couple more smart stops before the 20-minute mark, firstly denying Nico Gonzalez who let fly from just outside the box with a dipping shot and then thwarting the Argentine again with a more threatening attempt moments later.

La Viola’s dominance continued and they were so close to taking the lead in the 26th minute as Mandragora found Bonaventura in the area, who shot with his right foot and Maignan managed to get enough of a touch on it to slow the shot down and allow Tomori to clear off the line.

It took 32 minutes for Milan to have their first shot on target as a long cross from Junior Messias on the right was met by the volley of Olivier Giroud who did well to send it goalwards but it was straight at Terracciano.

Messias and Biraghi flew into a challenge 10 minutes before the break that had both rolling around in pain and yet the referee Di Bello gave a yellow to the Brazilian despite the fact he was the one who got the ball.

De Ketelaere showed a glimpse of what he is capable of with an excellent dribble where he ghosted past his man and clipped a cross to the far post where Messias arrived but headed well wide when a knock-down back across goal seemed the better option.

Fiorentina started the second half with the same intensity as they began the first half and they won a spot kick two minutes after the interval as Ikone was bundled over by Tomori as he surged into the box. Nico Gonzalez took on the responsibility, and sent Maignan the wrong way from the spot.

Milan set about trying to get a foothold in the game and almost levelled immediately when a corner from the left was met by the head of Giroud who forced a reaction stop from Terracciano.

Terracciano began being called into action more regularly and made a couple of smart stops, firstly to deny Rebic’s shot from around 20 yards that was heading for the bottom corner and then to prevent Theo scoring from a narrow angle after he had been found in behind.

A triple change came on 65 minutes as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Divock Origi and surprisingly Tiemoue Bakayoko came on for Giroud, Rebic and Bennacer.

The home side had a chance to double their advantage not long after when a give-and-go involving the right-back Dodo saw him break loose in the box but Tomori got a touch on his effort to take the sting out of it and Maignan saved.

There was a rather bizarre moment in the 77th minute as the referee Di Bello blew for a penalty for what he thought was a handball when clearing a corner however it was clearly his head that connected with the ball and it was rightly overturned.

Maignan made another smart low stop to deny Jovic who had just come off the bench for Fiorentina and did well to head a free-kick towards the bottom corner. A final change came for Milan not long after as Yacine Adli came on for De Ketelaere.

Fiorentina were the team who always looked more likely to get the next goal, and it came with a few minutes left. A Dodo cross from La Viola’s right side was met by the head of Jovic who this time managed to beat Maignan from close range.

The last action of the game would be a consolation for Milan as Theo Hernandez fired past Terracciano with a powerful near post shot into the roof of the net, but it was not enough to spark anything remarkable.

Tags AC Milan Fiorentina Milan


      1. Both signed by Paolo Maldini
        Make sure you remember that next time you try to defend Maldini like it’s your job to do so

      2. Yes. Milan did bas signings this year. De Ketelaere is gamble. Payed huge for transfer, but his salary is not so big.

        But when you bring Origi you expect much more. Rebic is probably lost and we can’t count on Ibrahimovic in terms of seriously impacted play.

        I will finish with, if Milan pass in any of first 4 position, it will be pure and huge luck in this season ownership gamble.

    1. Still one of the best players on the pitch. Theo and Rebic botched multiple of his long passes. Dude obviously has vision, giving nice balls behind the fiorentina back line.

  1. I was a bit surprised by the fluidity and efficacy of Fiorentina’s attacks as well as the high pressure that they have maintained throughout the whole game. This might have been a much needed experience for our lads before the game in London next week, where I would expect the similar tempo and pressure from Tottenham. Having said that, we cannot afford to make such defensive mistakes against Tottenham. Also two things that I wanted to say: Rebic has become a shadow of his former self and I think it might be smart to start thinking of offloading him in the summer and finding a proper replacement for Leao. And Origi, my God, I cannot believe that he played for a professional football club before, let alone Liverpool; he is absolutely ludicrous.

  2. Milan lost in high pressure from Fiorentina. More than 45 minutes.
    Fikayo Tomori responded why he doesn’t play for national team. When you compare Thiaw Kalulu Kjaer versus Tomori. Tomori is overpriced, and overpaid.
    I think coach should use Kjaer instead of Thiaw in England. Thiaw is too young and unexperienced.
    Milan poor rotation and bench showed how they can’t handle consistency in serie a.
    I think game versus Tottenham is one which will show the team road until end of this season.

    1. Thiaw – Kjaer – Kalulu. That’s the defense that should be used against Spurs. Like said many times: Tomori is a liability. Gifted Viola their penalty for no reason.

  3. Well I’ve always disliked Tomori and his inability to cope with pressure. He always gives penalties/makes big mistakes when the opponent is threatening. And tonight that penalty was the moment that made the difference. I believe the game would have ended up a 0-0 if not for that penalty.

  4. Origi is complete sh@!
    Mesias sh!#
    De katelare, I had hope for him but I’m starting to run out of patience. We should rather start him against less aggressive teams to build up his confidence. He had one of two good moves but lazy for most of the match.

    If only the entire team had the same determination as saelemakers I think we would do much better.

    Also why the hell did pioli bring on bakayoko? I understand he maybe wants to save benaccer for CL but why not bring on Franx? Give him a chance?

  5. Tomorrow can’t even play the normal defensive game. If we use tomori. I am sorry we shall pack our bags and move out of the champions league.

  6. I don’t know wtf happened to Tomori. One moment he’s brilliant then suddenly he made stupid mistake.

    And don’t let me start with Rebic and CDK. Both played really bad today especially Rebic.

    Can’t fully blame Pioli for this lost.

      1. Was it pioli that got beat by Ikone and then caused penalty or that was the Tomori?
        Both of the goals came from Tomori’s side.
        Is it Pioli’s fault that Bennacer and Tonali got outplayed outrun, outhustled by Fiorentina midfield?
        Pioli sets up the game strategy but it’s up to the players to execute it.
        You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

        1. “Is it Pioli’s fault that Bennacer and Tonali got outplayed outrun, outhustled by Fiorentina midfield?”

          Well, it kind of is. Pioli should have figured out how to fix it. If something isn’t working you try to fix it. Pioli did no such thing (until taking on Bakayoko which was throwing in the towel).

          Our midfield was invisible yesterday. Amrabat alone was bullying the whole midfield and dominated the pitch how he wanted. Tonali & Bennacer looked as if they’ve never played together. Benny gave one good pass to Giroud and that’s it. That’s the contribution of our midfield for the whole 96 minutes. Simply not good enough.

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