SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 16 - 10 Dec 2017 (19.45 UK)
Milan 2 - 1 Bologna
Bonaventura 10, 76 (M), Verdi 23 (B)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Jack Bonaventura bagged a brace to give Milan their first win under new Coach Gennaro Gattuso, despite Simone Verdi’s strike at San Siro.

Gattuso had one point from his two competitive games in charge, earned against bottom of the table Benevento, so scrapped Vincenzo Montella’s three-man defence for a 4-3-3 formation. Alessio Romagnoli was suspended with Lucas Biglia, Hakan Calhanoglu and Andrea Conti injured. The visitors had Andrea Poli banned against his old club and Federico Di Francesco still sidelined.

Bologna have now lost six of their last eight league visits to Milan, but the two clubs went into the game level on 21 points each.

It was an aggressive start from the hosts and after several corners, they found a way through. Nikola Kalinic nodded down an Ignazio Abate long ball for Jack Bonaventura, whose low finish from just inside the area took a deflection off Giancarlo Gonzalez to wrong-foot Antonio Mirante. That was the first goal Milan had scored at San Siro since September 20, a run of 399 minutes of Serie A home football.

Suso went on a slalom and pilled back from the by-line, but there was nobody to finish it off, then Riccardo Montolivo made a real defender’s sliding tackle to block Mattia Destro’s strike from 10 yards.

Bologna got back on level terms with two ex-Milan players combining. Destro skinned Mateo Musacchio down the left, pulled back and Simone Verdi’s shot off the outside of the left boot flew into the far top corner from 12 yards.

Verdi blasted over from the edge of the area, while Vasilis Torosidis made a crucial interception to stop Kalinic tapping in the Franck Kessie pass.

Leonardo Bonucci’s free header from six yards landed on the roof of the net and on the stroke of half-time Gianluigi Donnarumma fumbled a Rodrigo Palacio cross with Adam Nagy lurking.

Nagy was dangerous again after the restart, but Montolivo again got back to defend. Gattuso revamped his tactics yet again, introducing teenage striker Patrick Cutrone for full-back Ignazio Abate, but Suso’s pull-back was beyond Kalinic.

The snow got heavier as the second half wore on and it was unexpected hero Bonaventura who completed his brace with a towering header on Borini’s cross, out-jumping Vasilis Torosidis.

Bologna reacted with vehemence, in the next couple of minutes forcing Donnarumma into a low save with a downward Verdi header, then on the corner Adam Masina’s strike was deflected to bounce off the bar and again a glancing Torosidis header was just beyond the far post and Erick Pulgar’s foot.

It's the first Milan home win in Serie A since September 20.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Abate (Cutrone 59), Musacchio, Bonucci, Rodriguez; Kessie, Montolivo, Bonaventura; Suso, Kalinic (Andre Silva 68), Borini (Calabria 82)
Bologna: Mirante; Torosidis, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina (Petkovic 82); Donsah, Pulgar, Nagy (Taider 64); Verdi, Destro, Palacio (Okwonkwo 72)
Ref: Guida