AC Milan 1-0 Hellas Verona: Leao’s goal gives flat Milan victory in tepid affair

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan got the three points they needed by beating Verona 1-0 at San Siro on Saturday afternoon.

It was Rafael Leao who got the goal early on with a cool finish but it was a poor display overall in which Milan lacked creativity and potency.

The game did not begin as planned thanks to the heavy rain in northern Italy. It was pouring down ahead of kick-off and after a pitch inspection by the referee and the two team captains, it was decided that there would be a 25-minute delay to proceedings.

Milan certainly weren’t going to let the delay spoil their plans though and Rafael Leao gave the Rossoneri the lead after just eight minutes. Giroud won the ball from a defender and prodded it through to Leao who used his incredible pace to get into the box and he placed it into the bottom corner.

Verona responded fairly well and very nearly got level after 20 minutes when Filippo Terracciano’s cross was met by Michael Folorunsho but Marco Sportiello, making his first Milan start, produced a fine save.

Following that chance for Verona, the rest of the first half passed by with very minimal action. Milan were struggling to create much and players like Giroud and Christian Pulisic seemed to lack sharpness and understanding with their teammates.

Whilst they were not posing much of a threat, Verona were fully aware that with Milan performing like that and the score still at 1-0, they were fully in the game.

The first real chance of the second half fell the way of Verona as Terracciano headed the ball back into the box where Federico Bonazzoli was waiting to volley it straight at Sportiello.

Barring a Leao run into the box, there was very little for Milan to shout about in the second half. Pioli made a double change after 65 minutes to try and inject some life into the team.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was introduced for Rade Krunic, whilst Giroud was hooked so that Luka Jovic could have some meaningful minutes on the pitch. The 17-year-old Davide Bartesaghi was also introduced for Alessandro Florenzi with just over 10 minutes of the 90 to play.

Having just been introduced from the bench, Noah Okafor went on a very exciting run into the box but he could not find a teammate or a shot on target to finish it off.

His introduction did lead to slightly more intrigue for Milan going forward, but a second goal, or a Verona equaliser, seemed unlikely throughout the entire second half.

The win means that Milan move up to second with 12 points but many teams around them are yet to play this weekend. Verona remain in the top half for now.

Tags AC Milan Hellas Verona Leao


    1. Pulisis is very very good. Especially technique. He just need to realise and be more aware of opponent players who tackles fast and hard. So Pulisic needs to pass quickly or run immidiately. Too bad he didnt score with left foot.

  1. A scrappy win but I’ll take it. Pioli tried to make Musa look bad, dude was playing as a RB RW and RLW we could easily have conceded 2 from that flank if he wasn’t solid. A shamble team setup

      1. I don’t get where that dude came up with his ‘Pioli wants to make Musa look bad’ claim. Is he stalking Pioli to his bathroom or something?

  2. Say whatever you want, Musah is MOTM.
    He did everything he needed to.
    Did so many interceptions and won countless ball.
    If he keeps his improvement, he looks like a combination of Dumfries and Kessie

  3. Pioli needs to find a formation for the team a proper fixture, I think Milan is tied up with busy schedule so pioli is not able to find a proper formation with good tactics he is just fielding names to the field in each position to play the way they know how to play best in that specific position

  4. Pioli ruins good players!!
    Awful setup that should have changed 30 min after the game started.
    The negative effect on Chuck and Musah in this game will make them unconfident, even Raijnders played badly in this game.
    Pioli just ruins them like that

  5. This man needs to be sacked and fired! I guess he is desperate for a win such that he only set out the team with aim to concede less….what about organization and pattern of play! If Verona could be this hard for us at sansiro….men our away matches must be hopeless then.

  6. take the win. who cares how they won? nothing satisfies fans 🙄 they didn’t play great, but i’ll take leao scoring, tomori and sportiello playing really well, krunic and rijnders had a fine game, and musah seems one for the future 🤷🏻‍♂️ i am tired pounding on pioli or these boys. bar the inter game, they’re undefeated and played better than the opposition in all other games. i’ll reserve judgment after the UCL group stages

  7. Milan win and lll players including subs played pretty solid except Giroud.

    But here we are with the usual comments from ‘expert’ armchair pundits wants Pioli to be sacked.

  8. Listen a win is a win but what the hell is pioli doing? That formation was just horrible and we showed last year we can’t play it. On top of that, all the subs were wrong. Pulisic should have been subbed 20 minutes earlier and he had thiaw and musah playing the whole half on a yellow.

    After 4 seasons suddenly the 4 2 3 1 is abandoned? Finally when we can put leao pulisic and chukwueze a proper attacking mid and he doesn’t try it. A double pivot we have many options but loftus and Reijders would look good. Giroud at 37 continues to start every game and a game like this he should never have played. We were playing with 10 men with him on.

  9. What I saw is a Milan team without class and inspiration. It is a pity to see a Milan team with all of these investments, playing as a mid-table team in a very weak championship. I saw some many praises towards Reijnders— but I haven’t seen anything major from him yet. He has a weak shot. Check it out how many times you have seen a great shot on goal by him.

  10. Pioli should be embarrassed by such a poor display. Other teams are taking notice. After a poor display with New Castle, is this what Pioli comes with? Other teams are just leaking their lips waiting for such a bad Milan team. I am ashamed. I hope Pioli will turn this around quickly. It is unacceptable.

  11. Every team playing us start the game with defensive tactics. But immediately we score, they start attacking..Pioli needs to fins a way around this.

  12. Happy for the win.

    Happy for seeing Musah start. Happy to see Sporty look so sharp. Happy Theo and Calabria got a rest. RLC too, and nice to see him make a difference when coming on.

    Concerned we seemed to have no flow. We didn’t seem ready to open them up and lacked creativity on the final third. Chalking it up to a new formation combined with the changes.

    Puli seems to have lost his mojo at this point. Seems to be playing half a beat slower than the competition.

    Happy to see Okafur look so active and Barry get some minutes

    I’ll take the win but hope we go back to a 433 for Cagliari. Give Giroud and Leao a rest. Let’s establish mastery of the 433 with our squad rather than reacting to an unfortunate concentration of injuries.

  13. The 3-4-3 is an inherently more defensive formation.
    Winning all your matches by 1-0 isn’t exciting to watch but if it leads to championships, nobody will care in the end.
    I hope Pulisic figures out how to up his game soon. This is the third match in a row where he’s been shut down. Chuk is waiting

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