REPORT: AC MILAN 2-0 LAZIO - IBRAHIMOVIC NETS ON RETURN AS MILAN GO TOP AFTER COMFORTABLE WIN

met with both teams sporting perfect records as Stefano Pioli aimed to upstage his former side.

The home side started off brightly, getting forward well with half-chances for Tomori and Leao. The away side weathered that storm well and looked to grow back into the game over the opening 20 minutes.

 

 

Milan kept pressing and their propensity to attack down the flanks saw them win the ball back often. However, their play in the final third left much to be desired as Lazio patiently waited for their chance. Just when it looked like the game would remain level at halftime, all hell broke loose.

 

 

Firstly, Leao finally got his goal, playing a neat one-two with Rebic following a counter-attack at breakneck speed. Then in time added-on, Kessie earned a penalty after a VAR check, as he was upended by Immobile from a Milan corner. Kessie himself took the responsibility as he did over the past season but hit the crossbar which left the score 1-0.

 

 

The next 45 started off in a more even manner with Maurizio Sarri’s men looking to get forward a bit more, now in need of an equalizer. The home crowd saw fan favourite return with the introduction of at the hour-mark. It took only six minutes for him to make an impact.

Another brilliant counterattack saw Rebic charging down the left with the backline backing off. Having gotten inside the box, he slid a pass across the face of goal which was tapped in by the returning Swede.

 

 

Even with a two-goal lead, Pioli’s side kept attacking whenever the chance arose while Lazio were trying their best to claw one back. Top scorer Immobile was really kept quiet by the Milan backline as the game entered the final 10 minutes. He finally got a shot on target in the 82nd minute from a tight angle which was easily kept out by Maignan.

 

 

The game petered out towards the end with both teams consigned to the final result as the home side picked up all three points once again. There were some unsavoury scenes at the end as Sarri was sent off after seemingly getting into a verbal altercation with Ibrahimovic

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

 

MAGICAL MILAN GET IT DONE

The Rossoneri were on top for much of the game and their frequent forays forward meant that the result was not too much in doubt. The main thing was breaking the deadlock which they eventually did. Milan’s pace down the wings and ability to harass the opposition when not in possession meant that Lazio were always watchful.

 

 

The fullbacks were playing high up the pitch while the midfielders always looked to switch quickly. Both their goals were the result of fast breaks which unsettled Lazio as they just did not know how to mark so many attackers. The return of Ibrahimovic will be a welcome boon for Pioli as he makes it three wins out of three to start the campaign.

 

SARRI HITS ROADBLOCK

Lazio, having netted nine goals in two matches,  never really looked comfortable from the first whistle, unable to deal with the relentless intensity being espoused by Milan. Their attackers were rudderless while the defence was iffy whenever they were backing off. Furthermore, they were being stretched to their limits as Milan ran rings around them relentlessly, especially down the flanks.

 

 

They had warded off a few decent chances before the goals eventually came but the result was not in doubt once they fell behind. Leao and Ibrahimovic both scored from similar types of play with Sarri’s side simply lacking the pace tonight. The manager will know that he needs to work on their defensive shortcomings against the top teams fast if they want to end up in the top four.

 

OPEN RACE FOR SERIE A

Milan had conceded just one goal over the last seven league games and their defensive solidity is in little doubt. They go top of the table courtesy of their superior goal difference. With Juventus faltering, it looks like the two Milan sides will be real challengers once again. Pioli’s men are well stacked across the pitch and with a fully fit Ibrahimovic, their title drought may be coming to an end soon.

 

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