Milan got their first win, as Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano broke Serie A ducks to beat impressive Empoli 2-1.
The Rossoneri were already under huge pressure after a 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina. Cristian Zapata came in for suspended Rodrigo Ely, while Jeremy Menez, Philippe Mexes and M’Baye Niang were still injured. Empoli also started the season with a 3-1 loss to Chievo, but had Lorenzo Tonelli back from his ban and started 17-year-old Assane Diousse’. Riccardo Saponara faced his former club.
New buys Mario Balotelli and Juraj Kucka were on the bench.
Milan took the lead with their first genuine chance, as Luiz Adriano sent Bacca running from the centre-circle. He showed pace and strength to burst past two defenders, then go round the goalkeeper and slide it into an empty net. It was the debut Serie A goal for the Colombian, who arrived from Sevilla this summer for €30m. Most remarkably, it was the Rossoneri’s first shot on target of the season after 112 minutes of football.
The joy was short-lived, as moments later Massimo Maccarone’s back-heel flick freed Saponara for an angled drive to equalise.
Empoli almost went in front two minutes after that, as Manuel Pucciarelli smashed over the bar from the edge of the box.
Diego Lopez smothered a Saponara effort and Pucciarelli drilled wide of the near post, while Nigel de Jong needed a perfectly timed sliding tackle on Saponara. From that corner, Pucciarelli fired just past the upright, sparking jeers from the home fans.
Juraj Kucka made his Rossoneri debut, replacing Nocerino after the break, but Diego Lopez had to punch away a deflected Daniele Croce snapshot.
Pucciarelli horribly scuffed a potential goal from close range and on the counter from the same move Lukasz Skorupski had to come tearing out to clear from Luiz Adriano.
The hosts had a series of corners that came to nothing, but on 69 minutes Jack Bonaventura whipped one in for Luiz Adriano to head under the bar. It was the Brazilian’s first goal in Serie A since his move from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Empoli fought back immediately once again, Cristian Zapata’s diving header preventing a Levan Mchedlidze equaliser and Federico Barba volleying over from a corner.
Bertolacci went off with a shoulder injury for the final substitution, so Balotelli was unable to make his debut.