Milan 2-1 Cagliari: Suso free-kick enough to see off resilient Rossoblu

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan made it two wins from two as they edged a spirited Cagliari side by a score of 2-1 at San Siro on Sunday night.

A wonderful free-kick from Suso 20 minutes from time proved to be the difference as the Rossoneri fought off a plucky display from the Sardinians.

Patrick Cutrone had given Milan an early lead, but Joao Pedro deservedly levelled for Cagliari 10 minutes into the second half.

The win means the Vincenzo Montella has two wins from two to kick-off the Serie A campaign, and six wins from six competitive matches in 2017/18.

As expected, Milan began the game on the front foot and began making inroads into the Cagliari defence when Cutrone saw a near post flick easily saved by Alessio Cragno.

In the 10th minute, the deadlock was broken. Suso was allowed time and space to cut in from the right byline and made the visitors pay with a delicious low cross which Cutrone was on hand to tap home and take his season tally to two goals.

There was a moment of controversy seven minutes later as Cagliari midfielder Joao Pedro went down inside the area; referee Luca Pairetto booked the Brazilian for diving, which upon replay was the correct decision.

Cagliari then got on top in the game and had multiple chances to equalise before the break, the first of which saw Marco Sau hit the post with a low shot that got under Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Donnarumma was then on hand again to cut out a dangerous low cross, that coming after Pedro had fired a curling effort over from just outside the box.

There was another decision for Pairetto to make eight minutes before the break when Pedro went down under the challenge of Leonardo Bonucci – the referee declined the appeals without VAR (Video Assistant Referee) consultation.

In the 39th minute Milan could have doubled their advantage as Fabio Borini led a one-man breakaway, however the ex-Sunderland man saw his shot well saved by Cragno at the near post.

The home side had the first chance of the second half as Suso turned intelligently before crossing to the far post, but Borini’s flick was over the bar from a difficult angle.

Ten minutes after the break the visitors drew level and the San Siro faithful could have no arguments that it was well earned. A mistake from Kessie allowed Cagliari to break quickly; Diego Farias feeding Joao Pedro inside the area who slotted home easily past a motionless Donnarumma.

Right on the hour mark Milan had penalty appeals waved away as Kessie went down under pressure inside the box.

Twenty minutes from time the away side brought Suso down 25 yards out with a clumsy foul, and the Spaniard made them pay as he despatched a beautiful curling free kick inside the near right post in a similar fashion to his goal against Palermo at San Siro last season.

Nikola Kalinic was brought on for his San Siro debut just over ten minutes from time, and he will have wanted to do better when Borini found him inside the box; the Croatian international seeing his pass towards Suso well cut out.

Straight up the other end Donnarumma made a good save at stretch to deny a tricky half-volley from Sau.

Milan felt they had added a third late on as Kessie slammed home from a narrow angle, but he was penalised for pulling the defender’s shirt while turning; that coming after Montolivo had dragged a low shot wide two minutes earlier.

A pair of defensive headers from Bonucci and Kalinic respectively kept the visitors at bay through nine minutes of added time to ensure a perfect start to the Serie A season for Montella’s men.

Tags AC Milan Italy Milan Milan Cagliari News Patrick Cutrone Rossoneri Serie A Suso
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