Lecce 2-2 AC Milan: Rossoneri battle from two goals down but drop more points

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were forced to settle for a draw against Lecce on Saturday evening but they did battle from two goals down in order to get a point.

Milan made an awful start to the game as Theo Hernandez scored an own-goal after a mistake from Pierre Kalulu, and when Baschirotto doubled the lead with a header less than 30 minutes in it looked like being a very long night for the Rossoneri.

However, the second half comeback materialised as Rafael Leao halved the deficit with a shot from a narrow angle and then Davide Calabria scored a close range header, but Milan were unable to turn the one point into three.

The result means that Milan are now nine points behind the leaders Napoli after their rout of Juventus last night, with the hopes of defending the Scudetto now fading fast.

After rotating the side heavily in midweek for the cup defeat against Torino, Stefano Pioli reverted back to a stronger line-up with the likes of Davie Calabria, Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer, Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud all coming into the side.

The game started in the worst possible fashion for Milan as they went a goal down inside three minutes with what will go down as a Theo Hernandez own-goal, but in truth it was Pierre Kalulu who made the mistake as a soft pass was cut off by Di Francesco who found Blin and the ball went in off the full-back.

It was close to 2-0 moments later and again it was Kalulu who was at fault for a defensive error. A ball over the top found Di Francesco who was able to go through on goal after the Frenchman did not deal with the danger, though he thankfully shot wide.

In the 10th minute Milan really should have levelled the game as they first had a chance when Pobega went through on goal but hit Falcone with his shot, and then Giroud blazed the rebound over the bar from close range.

The home side continued to have the more dangerous chances, and they doubled their advantage midway through the second half. Milan failed to spot the danger down their left side and Hjulmand was allowed to cross for Baschirotto, who beats Kalulu with his jump and headed past Tatarusanu into the far corner.

It really should have been 3-0 and possible game over three minutes after the second goal as Di Francesco continued to cause havoc. His cross from the left wing found Gendrey whose header from a few yards out thankfully drifted wide.

Seven minutes before the break Milan could have halved the deficit at a crucial time when Saelemaekers found Pobega inside the box who took a great first touch but blazed over the bar with his second.

Falcone made a big save to preserve the clean sheet heading into the interval as Giroud rose highest to send an effort towards the top corner with what looked to be his back, but it was well tipped over the bar.

Pioli was clearly not happy with what he saw in the first half and he opted to make two changes, with Sergino Dest and Junior Messias coming on for Theo Hernandez and Saelemaekers.

Milan had a chance to get themselves back into the game early in the second half when a cross was cleared back out to Brahim Diaz who went for the lob from the right side of the area yet lofted it onto the roof of the net.

With 58 minutes on the clock the Rossoneri did get themselves back into the game through Rafael Leao. A shot from Giroud inside the area was parried into the path of Brahim Diaz who couldn’t quite get there in time, but Leao seized possession and cut in onto his right foot before curling a shot in from a narrow angle.

Halfway through the second half Pioli made another change as Brahim Diaz was brought off in place of Divock Origi, who made his return from injury.

Moments after the substitution, Milan got themselves back on level terms and it came via the captain Davide Calabria. A cross from the left flank was headed back across goal by Giroud and the full-back was on hand to head home from close range off the post and restore parity.

Milan were inches away from completing the comeback in the 79th minute as Bennacer went on a fantastic run and put the Brazilian through on goal but he hit the post after opening his body up for the shot. The offside flag went up, yet the replays seemed to suggest the goal would have stood.

The final two changes came in the final few minutes as Pobega and Calabria made way for Aster Vranckx and Simon Kjaer.

Tags AC Milan Lecce Milan


  1. Scudetto is over by all means. It is very important now to keep fighting to keep the CL spot. It will be hard and the team is in bad shape so it will be a huge battle. As it goes, we cannot think that we are favourites for top 4.

  2. Tatarusano is top 3 worst AC Milan goalkeeper of all time!Why pioli does not play the new keeper we sign some days ago the cant be worst then tata for the love of god pls no more of this guy in our goal!

  3. Yes the start was a disaster but they showed good fighting spirit to get back into the game. Pity a morale boosting winner couldn’t be found in the last 20 minutes. Top 4 has always been the priority and at least a point back on Juventus this weekend.

  4. Theo, giroud look tired as hell. Screwed in midfield if tonali or ben is absent. Defense always exposed because pioli always plays defensive characteristic players on top to give some freedom to our attackers and yet giroud is still isolated and without proper service. Dont even wanna go to our depth, which is sub average.

  5. Scudetto is not over by any means, still one game less played than mid season so not even close but sure we have made it a lot more difficult than a week ago as we simply cant play as horrible as we did in the first half and the last 10 minutes against roma as well.
    60 points to play for and nine behind not an easy task but neither an impossible one.
    In the end though we played an absolutely horrible first half and we cant do that and neither should the fans accept such an lacklustre and gutless performance.
    Even though a club like milan shouldnt settle for anything less than wins we at least showed some fighting spirit in getting back in the game but then we seemed to lift the foot from the trottle when we equalized when we actually had the chance to win the game.

  6. I am fed up with Giroud getting unfair criticism..
    Did you watch the same match as me ..He was one of the best players on the pitch 3 shots on target one of which thier goalkeeper somehow managed to save .
    Both the goals we did score Olivier was involved with ,indeed the second goal of which Giroud brilliantly put in the path for us to score our second ..now tell me that Rafeol leao was brilliant,well he wasn’t ,and the amount of times he lost the ball was appalling.
    Yes I am fed up of unfair criticism of Oliver Giroud.
    Come next week when he scores against inter in the super cup ..He will be the hero again .
    What’s wrong with everyone.We perhaps will not win the scuddeto again this season ,but to finnish second is still some achievement..We will also beat Tottenham in the champions leauge ..What we need to do is win a game soon ..As soon as we do that confidence will return ..

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