Milan pushed past Craiova 2-0 at a packed San Siro to reach the Europa League play-offs, 3-0 on aggregate, with Giacomo Bonaventura and Patrick Cutrone goals.
The Rossoneri had won the first leg of this Europa League preliminary round 1-0 in Romania thanks to Ricardo Rodriguez’s free kick. Andrea Conti, Suso and Manuel Locatelli stepped into the starting XI. Leonardo Bonucci and Lucas Biglia were still unavailable, while Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Antonelli and Ignazio Abate missed out. Carlos Bacca, Jose Sosa and Gabriel Paletta were transfer-listed.
It was a stunning atmosphere at San Siro, the first European game for Milan fans here in three years, but 65,763 packed into the stands, a new record for a Europa League preliminary round. There was also a huge choreography in the Curva Sud, reading ‘My heart is sad away from you.’
Franck Kessie thought he’d scored with an absolutely ferocious strike, but Patrick Cutrone was offside when his original shot was parried.
Moments later, the siege paid off as Nicolae Calancea flapped at a corner and Jack Bonaventura fired in the loose ball from 12 yards.
There was a big risk when a defensive error sent Ionut Mitrita clear on goal, but Gianluigi Donnarumma made himself big to parry one-on-one.
Moments later, Ricardo Rodriguez’s effort on a Kessie counter was denied by Calancea, but M’Baye Niang’s refusal to track back often left Rodriguez exposed down Milan’s left.
Suso’s screamer from distance was beaten into the path of Conti, who in an onside position drilled inches wide.
After the restart, a long Ricardo Rodriguez free kick was flicked on by Mateo Musacchio and Cutrone reacted quickest to bundle over the line from close range and double Milan’s lead.
Donnarumma fingertipped a Gustavo free kick over the bar and Hakan Calhanoglu made his San Siro debut and his corner found a Mateo Musacchio header, fingertipped wide.
Calhanoglu also whipped in a cross for Niang’s header, beaten away by Calancea.
Milan 2-0 Craiova (3-0 agg)
Bonaventura 9 (M), Cutrone 52 (M)
Milan: Donnarumma; Conti, Musacchio, Zapata, Rodriguez; Kessie, Locatelli, Bonaventura (Borini 82); Suso (Calhanoglu 65), Cutrone (Andre Silva 70), Niang
Craiova: Calancea; Dimitrov, Spahija, Kelic, Tiago Ferreira; Rossi (Mateiu 46), Zlatinski, Bancu; Vagenin, Baluta (Roman 65), Mitrita (Barbut 83)
Ref: Popov (BUL)
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