Milan 5-1 Fiorentina: Five-star Rossoneri secure Europa League group place

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan produced a five-star performance at San Siro to despatch Fiorentina and secure qualification for the Europa League group stage.

Milan came into the game knowing they just needed to match Atalanta’s result at Cagliari in order to avoid finishing seventh and entering into the qualification stage of the Europa League.

They did so comfortably, as goals from Hakan Calhanoglu, Nikola Kalinic and Giacomo Bonaventura complemented a Patrick Cutrone brace – that after Giovanni Simeone had given Fiorentina the lead.

The Rossoneri had the first real chance of the game seven minutes in as Franck Kessie was played in behind by Giacomo Bonaventura, but the Ivorian saw his low shot saved before Patrick Cutrone dragged his follow-up effort wide.

Kessie had another half chance five minutes later as he fired over and wide from around 20 yards from a similar position to the one in which he scored against Atalanta last week.

Moments later, Fiorentina gave the ball away from the goal kick, and Nikola Kalinic fired straight at Sportiello in the Viola goal.

Despite the early pressure from the home side, it was Fiorentina who took the lead through Simeone. Leonardo Bonucci lost the ball in his own half allowing Federico Chiesa to put Simeone in behind; the former Genoa man dinking over Donnarumma with a calm finish.

However, Milan responded almost instantly as Calhanoglu took advantage of a clumsy free-kick from La Viola by sweeping the set piece low into the far left corner past Sportiello.

Kessie had another huge opportunity to get on the scoresheet as Bonaventura again found him on the break, though this time the former Atalanta man was let down by his first touch and was then booked for leaving a foot in on the Fiorentina keeper.

In the 42nd minute Gennaro Gattuso’s side took a deserved lead, and Calhanoglu was again the architect. The Turkey international turned on the right side to create space for a cross, and found his team-mate at the near post with a perfect cross that Cutrone diverted into the far corner with a deft header.

Cutrone could have added his 10th of the season when he was found with a neat lay-off from Kalinic, but the Italy international found the side netting with a venomous strike.

Milan established a two-goal lead with their first attack of the second-half as Kalinic came back to haunt his former club. A good cross to the back post found Cutrone, who saw his header well saved by substitute goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski, but the Croatian was on hand to tap home from close range and make it 3-1.

Fiorentina had a half-chance to get back into the game two minutes later, but Chiesa’s low shot was weak and easily saved by Donnarumma.

Just before the hour mark Milan did add a fourth goal through Cutrone. The 20-year-old showed great composure to slot under Dragowski after being found in space in the box by Calhanoglu, in the process adding his 10th goal of the season and killing the contest completely.

Cutrone thought he had a hat-trick in the 67th minute when he powered home a header from a Ricardo Rodriguez cross, though the linesman correctly adjudged him to be offside.

The Rossoneri smelt blood as their opponents tired, and that allowed Bonaventura to add a fifth as he fired low past Dragowski after a weaving run, getting a richly deserved goal.

There was a special moment five minutes from time for Emanuele Torassi, the Milan Primavera star, who came on for Bonaventura for the closing stages.

Substitute Andre Silva should have added a sixth in the 89th minute when Kessie squared for him inside the box, though the Portuguese international saw his effort well saved.

Tags AC Milan Giacomo Bonaventura Hakan Calhanoglu Italy Milan Milan-Fiorentina News Notification Patrick Cutrone Rossoneri Serie A
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