NEWS
Thursday November 5 2020
EL: Lille ruin Milan unbeaten run

Milan lost their first game since March, beaten 3-0 at home by Lille in the Europa League thanks to a Yusuf Yazici hat-trick.

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The Rossoneri wanted to maintain their perfect Europa League start and practically seal qualification against a Lille side that was second in Ligue 1. Davide Calabria was out injured, while the visitors only had Adama Soumaoro fit for the bench.

Just as Milan were pushing hard, Lille got the chance on the counter from a misplaced Diogo Dalot header back, Jonathan David’s angled drive well saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma. On the resulting corner, Alessio Romagnoli had both hands on Yusuf Yazici’s back, did not seem to push, but the gesture was enough to prompt the referee into awarding a penalty, which Yazici converted himself.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s ferocious free kick was beaten away and Theo Hernandez fired straight at Mike Maignan, but it was the first time all season that Milan were trailing at half-time.

Stefano Pioli threw on Rafael Leao and Hakan Calhanoglu, but Lille doubled their lead when a hopeful Yazici effort bounced in front of Gianluigi Donnarumma and the goalkeeper had gone down too early, so it squirmed away from him.

Milan seemed shocked by a situation they had not been in for many months and Lille took full advantage, as David set up Yazici to complete the hat-trick in a defence that was very stretched out.

It was the first time Milan had conceded three at home in Europe since November 2011. Ante Rebic came off the bench and immediately forced a save with a rising angled drive from Brahim Diaz’s assist.

However, the hosts visibly gave up and Donnarumma prevented Yazici getting a fourth from a tight angle, while Jonathan Bamba and Isaac Lihadji blasted over. Rafael Leao turned wide under pressure from Jose Fonte.

This result ends Milan’s unbeaten run of 24 competitive matches, their first loss since the 2-1 home defeat to Genoa on March 8.

As Celtic lost at home to Sparta Prague, it means Lille now top the group on seven points, followed by Milan on six, Sparta three and Celtic one.

Milan 0-3 Lille

Yazici pen 22, 55, 58 (L)

Milan: G Donnarumma; Dalot, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali (Bennacer 61); Castillejo (Leao 46), Krunic (Calhanoglu 46), Brahim Diaz (Hauge 78); Ibrahimovic (Rebic 61)

Lille: Maignan; Zeki Celik, Fonte, Botman, Bradaric; Renato Sanches (Soumare 80), Xeka (Andre 65), Bamba (Mandava 84), Ikone (Lihadji 65); Yazici (Burak Yilmaz 80), David

Ref: Frankowski (POL)