Milan were dealt a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hellas, as the Stadio Bentegodi proved to be ‘Fatal Verona’ yet again.
The Rossoneri were building up a head of steam since scrapping the three-man defence and moving to 4-3-3. Curiously, these two sides already met on Wednesday when Milan progressed to the Coppa Italia quarter-final with a 3-0 victory at San Siro, but both line-ups changed considerably with Alessio Cerci returning against his former club. Mohamed Fares and Matteo Bianconeri were on the treatment table.
Milan fans have very bad memories of the Bentegodi, as they twice lost the Scudetto here, earning it the nickname ‘Fatal Verona.’
Hellas were certainly very aggressive early on with plenty of crunching tackles. Nikola Kalinic’s strike was fingertipped wide by Nicolas and the hosts lost Mattia Valoti to injury.
However, Verona took the lead when Romulo’s corner found a towering header from defender Andrea Caracciolo, which ricocheted in off the bar and Gianluigi Donnarumma’s back.
Coach Fabio Pecchia was forced to replace Cerci too, who seemed to pull a hamstring, making way for Juventus-owned teenager Moise Kean.
Suso had a double chance at the near post, the first parried one-handed by Nicolas, then the follow-up desperately blocked by Thomas Heurtaux.
The Spaniard also saw his free kick palmed off the line by Nicolas as it dipped viciously over the wall.
VAR was used just before half-time to only book Fabio Borini for lashing out an arm to strike Alex Ferrari in an off-the-ball incident.
Gattuso made a surprise switch, introducing Patrick Cutrone for Ricardo Rodriguez and moving Borini to left-back. It didn’t pay off, as Daniel Bessa burst down the left, his pull-back was beyond Caceres, but found Moise Kean to fire home relatively undisturbed and double Verona’s lead.
Suso’s strike was fingertipped over the bar, but Verona added a third on the counter with Romulo rolling across and Bessa getting in front of Bonucci to tap in from 10 yards.
Milan did have a chance to get one back with Jack Bonaventura’s chipped pass for Andre Silva at the back post, but Caceres performed an acrobatic clearance. Cutrone also saw his header glance wide of the far post from a corner.
To complete the nightmare afternoon, Suso was shown a straight red card using VAR technology, as he was judged to have purposefully stamped on Verde's hand.
Sent off: Suso 91 (M)