Milan brought Alessandria back down to earth following their 5-0 victory over the Lega Pro opposition in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final.
Milan are now in their first Coppa Italia final in thirteen years. They will play the winner of Wednesdays semi-final Inter-Juventus. Inter fell at Juve 3-0 in the first leg.
Following the first leg played at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino, Milan led the series 1-0. Balotelli in his first start in four months, from the penalty spot. You can read that review here. This time, it was Jeremy Menez’ first start since April 29th, 2015. That was a 3-1 home defeat against Genoa, a match in which Menez was sent off in.
Alessandria were not just looking to frustrate, they tried to play their brand of football.
Within the first seven minutes, Juraj Kucka broke into the box, on a fantastic dribble, and then squared for Keisuke Honda, who missed an empty net from the penalty spot.
Alessandria could have taken the advantage after poor distribution by Abbiati. Then, the nights captain came out for a brave save on Simone Iocolano shot.
The deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes on the clock. Honda played a delicate pass over the top for Menez, and the Frenchman controlled with his chest before hitting a fantastic finish across Alessandria shot-stopper, Gianmarco Vanucchi.
Four minutes later, it was 2-0 on the night. Bonaventura’s corner was headed down by Kucka and Alession Romagnoli was there for a strikers finish on the half-volley. That is Romagnoli’s first goal in a Milan jersey.
The Alessandria defenders appealed for an offside, but after replays showed Alessio was indeed onside.
On 38 minutes, the match was more than over already. After a bit of nice build up, Andrea Poli played the ball across the box for Menez, who made no mistake on completing his brace.
Milan took their foot off the gas during the second half, just passing he ball around the back for the first twenty minutes.
With 70 mintues on the clock, Balotelli sent a free-kick way over the crossbar, receiving whistles from the San Siro faithful.
Alessandria knew the tie was over, but they still hoped for a famous goal at San Siro, and Mattia De Sciglio cleared an effort off the line on 76 minutes, after the shot beat Abbiati.
Following that incident, goal-line technology was yet again need. Only, this time the ball crossed the line, resulting in Romagnoli’s second and Milan’s fourth. The youngster scored his first career brace.
Carlos Bacca then went through 1-on-1 with the Alessandria goalkeeper, and really should have scored. The less I say about that, the better.
However, that miss wouldn’t prove costly, especially with Milan already 4-0 up.
With the last shot of the match, Balotelli made it 5-0, slotting a 1-on-1 through Vanucchi’s legs.
Milan will now face either Juventus or Inter in the final, with their city-rivals trailing 3-0 after the first leg in Turin.
The final will take place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on May 21st.