Sassuolo 0-0 AC Milan: Maignan saves a penalty as the Rossoneri are held to a draw

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan dropped points for the second time in their first four games as they were held to a rather disappointing 0-0 draw away against Sassuolo on Tuesday evening.

It was certainly a far cry from the game that took place in May when Milan romped to a 3-0 win to seal the Scudetto, with the Rossoneri struggling to find the quality needed in the right moments to unlock the Sassuolo defence.

In the end it was the home side who will be kicking themselves that they didn’t snatch all three points as Domenico Berardi – who later limped off in tears with a knee injury – missed a penalty kick in the first half.

It is not the kind of result that generates great momentum heading into the derby against Inter on Saturday, though there were starts for some players who needed minutes in their legs.

Head coach Stefano Pioli made five changes to the starting line-up that emerged victorious against Bologna on Saturday, with Alessandro Florenzi, Simon Kjaer, Tommaso Pobega, Alexis Saelemaekers and Brahim Diaz coming into the side.

It was a scrappy opening to the game from both sides with plenty of misjudged passes skidding too fast along the rain-soaked turf, but Milan had the first clear chance. The high press won the ball back inside Sassuolo’s half and the ball deflected into a dangerous area after Rafael Leao slipped a pass to Tommaso Pobega, but the Portuguese winger fired well over as the ricochet fell to him around 15 yards out.

Leao certainly came a lot closer in the 12th minute when he seized a poor pass from Berardi and dashed towards goal, letting fly with his right foot and fizzing an effort a few yards above the upright.

Milan continued to have the better of the opportunities and Brahim Diaz showed his threat by spinning Thortsvedt and letting fly from just outside the box with a low shot that rolled just past the far post.

It was Sassuolo who got the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot though in the 22nd minute. Berardi went down in between challenges from Florenzi and Saelemaekers, and it was the winger who took the responsibility, but Mike Maignan was equal to the attempt with a diving parry to his right.

The pitch continued to wreak havoc as balls skidded and skipped across, and Ismael Bennacer was a lucky man to see his miscontrol inside the box with 10 minutes remaining in the first half end with Kyriakopoulos missing the target.

The Rossoneri’s decision making continued to let them down as a huge counter-attack chance was squandered in the 40th minute. Brahim Diaz ran with the ball on the break and with options to both sides plus only two defenders in front of him he fed Florenzi, whose dinked cross fell to Giroud, but the Frenchman chested the ball down and volleyed wide.

Five minutes into the second half and with both sides having not made a substitution at the interval, Sassuolo were forced into a change as Berardi was bundled over by Theo Hernandez after a run in behind. The offside flag had gone up to negate any chance of a foul, so the winger limped off being replaced by Defrel.

A triple substitution was ordered five minutes before the hour mark by Pioli as Charles De Ketelaere, Sandro Tonali and Junior Messias came on for Brahim Diaz, Pobega and Saelemaekers respectively.

Not long after that there was a brief moment of concern when Maignan landed awkwardly after jumping over Tomori to claim a throw-in but thankfully the Frenchman ended up being ok.

Milan had a succession of several corners within the stretch of a few minutes but they failed to capitalise on any of them, with the most threatening delivery coming with 20 minutes left as a header at the near post found Leao at the far side of the box though his effort was blocked.

In the 73rd minute another change came as Giroud was withdrawn in place of Yacine Adli, meaning there was no recognised striker on the field. A final substitution came six minutes later as Simon Kjaer made way for Pierre Kalulu.

As the game drifted out towards the final whistle, the last bit of bad fortune came in the last minute of normal time as Florenzi pulled up having suffered a painful muscle injury. Milan were forced to complete the game with 10 men.

The final chance of the game came when De Ketelaere did well to cut a ball back to Leao on the edge of the box though Consigli was able to gather an effort with relative ease as the winger did not get as much power on it as he would have wanted.

Tags AC Milan Sassuolo-Milan


  1. Just like I have been predicted, with this xi squad, getting one point in already lucky enough.. heh.. just waste of time..

  2. diaz, saelemaekers, pobega, florenzi, giroud, kjaer

    sigh… should’ve play CDK, Adli, Tonali, Captain, and Kalulu sooner

  3. Why play diaz wen have CDK and Adli fit to me diaz is and should not be first option to start a game ahead of CDK and Adli seeing that guy play hurts my eyes from how bad he is!

  4. Pioli expected an easy walk but made a huge mistake with his XI. Zero goal attempts on target is something ridiculous. SHould have kept the starting XI from the previous clash and make changes on the go.

  5. Pioli lost the game.What’s the point of keeping players out for Inter if you lose points from Sassuolo??? Same old sh.. like last season.
    Someone tell Pioli, if you want to do that you need QUALITY backup, not Pobega, Alexis,Diaz etc.
    Also you are fighting for a goal and the last 20 minutes Pioli played without a striker!!! Mr Pioli you damn plan is to cross the ball all the time…Without Giroud it’s an easy evening for Sasuolo’s defence.
    Also where is that guy who wrote to me here that Milan don’t need a striker????
    He said we’ve got Leao, Rebic, Zlatan,Giroud and Origi…..Apart from tired Giroud, where the F*** were the other ones??? Let me guess….They are injured!!!!!!!!
    Milan is a team with LOTS of injuries, we need QUALITY BACKUP.

    P.S. If Chelsea comes with an offer for Leao, I would give him with a ribbon …..(He really wants 7 million???)

  6. Absolute garbage. We couldn’t create one good chance. If they had scored their penalty, we would’ve lost this game. The starting XI was useless, especially going forward, and the subs felt desperate. Not a good showing.

  7. Diaz definitely should be used as a sub. He is more useful when there are tired legs out there. Totally agree with most of you. Cdk and adli would be way better in that position. Nevertheless though, very very lazy play today. If i had to guess, i would say pioli told them to take it easy because of derby. Thats pretty stupid in my opinion.

    1. No.This was one of THOSE games. Milan fans, we need to remeber we have the YOUNGEST team in Serie A and we added new players. 8pts/12 is not the best start but it’s decent…we are still right there/.
      STOP expecting perfection.. It’s a long season and draws happen…it’s how we react in the next game that matters

  8. A draw was a fair result. This was one of THOSE games. I felt like we did not create enough goal scoring chances..Giroud had that cahnce where he chested the ball and rushed to shoot. Leao had that shot that was saved in the 2nd half.
    1st 20 Mins was good. Then the rhythm dropped. Brahim and Saelaemakers have no end product..too much dribbling.
    Kjaer and Tomori were solid. Florenzi was HORRIBLE and got exposed all the’s good that he is injured.
    Bennacer was excellent. Leao was great too but he got frustrated after realising he had to CARRY the team. Messias was decent when he came on.
    CDK doesn’t get the ball that often but he created that chance for Leao.
    Also for those who are saying CDK and Kalulu HAVE to start..remeber we have 7 games in 22 days…we HAVE to rotate to minimise injuries.
    It’s 2 Pts dropped but we need to remember we have got 8 pts out of 12 and will be 2 points off 1st place if the OTHER wins..last season we fell as far back as 5 points. It’s a 2 point gap…no need to panick…the new player s are still slowly learning to play with everyone.
    BE PATIENT guys and trust the team.
    It’s a MARATHON,it’s not how you start but how you finish.
    We’ve played 4 games and have 2 wins and 2 draws and have dominated every game….the wins will come..the talent is clearly there oin this team and we just have to wait for Pioli to get the best of it.
    Even the ccommentators are making too much of it.
    We are still on track 8pts/ 12 is not terrible..this is a young team and these games happen

    1. ” Leao was great too but he got frustrated after realising he had to CARRY the team.”

      LOL. 7 Million Euros per season means you have to carry the team sometimes. Actually many times. If he’s not up to the task against a mid-table team such as Sassuolo… Well… You do the math.

  9. I told a day Before that its a rong old failed idea of Pioli to make test like Training will be Failure.
    How come to lineup Kjear,Florenzi, and Failied Diaz to Start From the First Minute.
    Poili always kills himself with the wrong Decisions

  10. I get why Pobega played, to give Tonali or Bennacer a rest in a position that requires alot of the player. What I dont get is why Adli didn’t play from the start. Diaz is such a handicap and he’s on loan..Adli is here to stay..the game only improved when CDK came on. And I’m not going to talk about that RW, it’s way too obvious. Though credit to Messias for playing right back and RW when Florenzi went off

    Btw Bellotti *was* free.

    1. The right lane improved once Florenzi limped off the pitch. Saele & Florenzi both played their worst match in Milan shirt. Just plain awful.

  11. I don’t have much complains about the starting lineup given we needed to rest a few important players (how on earth did Rebic and Origi get injured beforehand)
    The frustrating issue here was starting Brahim over Adli. Someone needs to tell Pioli that Adli creates Brahim doesn’t, Adli is good with the ball Brahim isn’t, Adli has the physicality to play in Serie A Brahim doesn’t!!! Ffs Brahim isn’t even our player.

  12. Theo better than our RW/LW
    Benacer better than our AM
    We need better free kick takers
    We need target man other than giroud
    We need scout that focus on future opponent

  13. To win scudetto you dont need to win all 38 match . Sometime you draw. Some fans dont understand that you cannot start 11 player all match,they are human too not robot. This season schedule are tight due to World Cup so they need to play every 3 day . AC Milan register 25 player and you all want only 11same starter every match ? Then for what the rest 14 player? If you want to forcing 11 same player starter every match perhaps maybe you can do that on football manager

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.