Milan recovered from an astonishing Leonardo Bonucci howler to crush Austria Vienna 5-1 and book Europa League qualification.
The Rossoneri needed to get back on track and secure their place in the Round of 32, not to mention recover their confidence after poor Serie A form. Suso, Alessio Romagnoli, Ignazio Abate and Andrea Conti missed out, but Patrick Cutrone and Andre Silva started together for the first time in three weeks. The Portuguese forward bagged a hat-trick in a 5-1 victory in Vienna back in September.
It was a shock breakthrough after 21 minutes, a goal that seemed impossible. Monschein got away from Bonucci, Gianluigi Donnarumma rushed off his line and left an open goal to aim at. Bonucci got back in plenty of time to clear at the near post, but when he came sliding in, he inexplicably let the ball slip through his legs. It was an astounding howler, the kind rarely seen in professional football, let alone from an Italy international.
Milan hit back when Fabio Borini’s cross was knocked on by defenders for Ricardo Rodriguez, who had time to control and fire in undisturbed at the far post.
Andre Silva added a second, as Ricardo Rodriguez saw his free kick ricochet off the Portugal international, who got it under control to drill home.
There was even a third for Milan before half-time, as Silva flicked on a Rodriguez cross, Borini pulled back from the by-line and Cutrone was again relatively undisturbed to nod in.
The Rossoneri threatened a fourth with a double ricochet in the six-yard box, but Pentz stuck out a foot to parry from close range.
Andre Silva did complete his brace by turning on a sixpence to scuff his finish just enough to get it precisely into the far bottom corner.
It still wasn’t over, as in stoppages Manuel Locatelli won back possession, then Cutrone completed a give-and-go with Luca Antonelli to tap in his second of the night.
Milan 5-1 Austria Vienna
Monschein 21 (A), Rodriguez 27 (M), Andre Silva 36, 70 (M), Cutrone 42, 93 (M)
Milan: G Donnarumma; Musacchio, Bonucci (Gomez 80), Zapata; Borini (Locatelli 74), Biglia, Calhanoglu, Kessie, Rodriguez (Antonelli 64); Silva, Cutrone
Austria Vienna: Pentz; De Paula, Borkovic, Mohammed, Salamon (Gluhakovic 69); Serbest, Holzhauser (Lee 86); Prokop, Abdullahi, Pires (Tajouri-Shradi 78); Monschein
Ref: Treimanis (LTA)
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