Sunday December 3 2017
Gattuso and De Zerbi meet again

Milan’s trip to Benevento sees Gennaro Gattuso face Roberto De Zerbi, with the last meeting in the Lega Pro play-offs in 2016.

Ringhio has been appointed as Rossoneri Coach after Vincenzo Montella was sacked, and today is his first match on the bench.

In the other dugout is De Zerbi, who is looking to win the Stregoni their first ever Serie A point after a run of 14 defeats.

This isn’t the first time the two Coaches have met though, as they were on opposing sides for the Lega Pro (third division) play-off final.

De Zerbi’s Foggia scored 61 goals in 34 games in Group C, but finished five points behind the league winners - Benevento.

In Group B, Gattuso’s Pisa side finished nine points behind SPAL - who have also now made it to Serie A - with just 26 goals conceded all season.

The Lega Pro play-offs are famous cut-throat - just one of eight teams can be promoted - but Gattuso’s side secured a 3-1 win over Maceratese, and Foggia defeated Alessandria 2-0.

That allowed both to advance to a two-legged ‘semi-final’, with Pisa drawn against Pordenone.

The Torri won the first leg at the Arena Garibaldi, thanks to a hat-trick from Ignacio Lores Varela, making the second leg a formality, and they duly went through after a 0-0 draw.

Foggia, meanwhile, secured a dramatic 3-2 win against Lecce at the Stadio Via del Mare, before winning 2-1 in the return leg.

That meant it came down to a two-legged final, Gattuso against De Zerbi for a place in Serie B.

Pisa raced into a 2-0 lead in the first leg in Tuscany, Daniele Mannini and Varela scoring on 4 and 12 minutes.

De Zerbi’s side were known for their free-flowing attacking football though, and Cosimo Chiricò got one back before Pietro Iemmello equalised before the break.

The Torri, presumably after some harsh words from Gattuso, came out fighting after the break and took the lead again through Edgar Cani.

Then, with just under 10 minutes left, Stefano Avogadri took Mannini down in the box, and the winger stepped up to score the resulting penalty.

Iemmello gave Foggia brief hope in the second leg with an 89th-minute goal, but Umberto Eusepi scored in injury time to take Pisa to Serie B.

Gattuso was hit in the head by a bottle thrown from the stands. Both tacticians were sent off and almost engaged in a touchline brawl, while Foggia fans staged a pitch invasion amid chaotic scenes.

Since then De Zerbi has coached in Serie A, during an ill-fated stint at Palermo, while Gattuso will make his top-flight debut this afternoon.

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