AC Milan battled back after another poor first half and a keeper error saw them losing at the break. With a rush of energy to start the second half, the Rossoneri clawed back two goals to secure victory.
Genoa took the lead in the first half as Lasse Schone beat Pepe Reina – who replaced the injured Gianluigi Donnarumma -with a low free-kick that the veteran should have saved.
The Rossoneri were buoyed by a double change at half time as Lucas Paqueta and Rafael Leao came on, though it was Theo Hernandez who leveled with a fine strike from a narrow angle.
Franck Kessie tucked away a penalty after Leao drew a hand ball and a red card shortly after, but there was drama in the final few stages as Reina saved a Schone penalty in added time to earn revenge after a harsh penalty call.
“I am quite cool-headed during a game, fortunately. I had doubts it was a penalty, but Reina has so much character that I had faith he would save it,” Giampaolo told DAZN (via Football Italia).
“It was a difficult match, we went underwater and were under a lot of pressure, so I praise the lads for not letting go. I didn’t even care if they misplaced a pass or a goal, the important thing was to give a response in terms of character.
“I want us to continue with this character, but obviously hope to get a sharper and higher quality style of football in future.
“I liked Paqueta, he came on well, as did Leao, but I won’t condemn those who they replaced.”
Speaking on the half-time talk:
“I told the lads to keep their cool and turn it around. It’s not wise to bleed in the presence of sharks.”
“These forwards have different characteristics, but I know that Milan need all of those elements. I won’t throw anyone out the window. My objective is to keep everyone involved.”
“I want to see this team play better football, but it wasn’t possible today because they felt the pressure so much and needed the victory so badly. We had to scrape the last bit of determination and character. I couldn’t ask them for beautiful football today, as we had other objectives.”
Bonaventura earned his first start since October 25, 2018
“We needed experience, character and the ability to deal with the situation. I really liked Bonaventura, as he also has great timing with his passes, a delicate touch. Above all, he brought balance, because I struggle to play with three pure strikers. He gave us some balance there, as he can track back, but also play with quality going forward.”