SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 34 - 21 Apr 2018 (19.45 UK)
Milan 0 - 1 Benevento
Iemmello 29 (B)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Bottom of the table Benevento postponed their relegation with a shock victory over Milan at San Siro, despite seeing Cheick Diabate sent off.

It's remarkable because the Southerners got their first ever Serie A point by holding Milan 2-2 at the Stadio Vigorito and this was their first ever away victory.

The Rossoneri had essentially lost sight of the top four after four consecutive stalemates and had to look over their shoulders to secure the Europa League spot, whereas Le Streghe were virtually relegated. With Hakan Calhanoglu, Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Conti injured, Gennaro Gattuso moved to a 4-4-2 system with Patrick Cutrone and Andre Silva together. Guilherme, Luca Antei, Marco D’Alessandro and Ledian Memushaj missed the trip, with captain Fabio Lucioni on a long-term ban after failing a doping test.

Cutrone had penalty appeals in the opening couple of minutes, but was slightly offside anyway as he went under the Djimsiti nudge.

Andre Silva wasted a golden opportunity with a fresh-air volley from seven yards on Fabio Borini’s cross, but Milan almost shot themselves in the foot with a terrible Ricardo Rodriguez back-pass, forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma to scramble back and clear off the line.

Benevento took what was overall a fairly deserved lead on the half-hour mark, as Pietro Iemmello sprung the offside trap on a Nicolas Viola through ball, kept level by Leonardo Bonucci, and swept the finish past Donnarumma with the inside of his right boot. It was Iemmello’s third goal at San Siro after his brace against Inter for Sassuolo.

Cutrone almost scored a stunner, chesting down a Franck Kessie chipped pass to hit the volley just wide of the far top corner from a tight angle.

Christian Puggioni beat away a Jack Bonaventura snapshot, then Lucas Biglia’s half-volley was charged down on Bonaventura’s knock-down and Milan pinned Benevento back, but without managing to break through.

Danilo Cataldi’s left-foot curler skimmed the bar after the restart and Biglia wasted a Benevento gift by shooting from distance when he had options to pass.

Kessie came closest to an equaliser on the hour mark with a genuine ground-to-air missile from the edge of the area that cannoned off the underside of the bar, bounced off the ground and back out with remarkable ferocity.

Sandro did well to stop substitute Nikola Kalinic tapping in a Davide Calabria assist and on the counter Viola drilled inches wide.

Cutrone had a great chance to equalise on 74 minutes with his header at the back post, but a combination of Puggioni and Djimsiti managed to parry and Kalinic couldn’t turn in the rebound.

Benevento threw on top scorer Cheick Diabate, but he lasted only 28 minutes before receiving two yellow cards, the second for a high elbow on Leonardo Bonucci.

This was a Benevento side that had fumbled 20 points from leading situations this season and had only one point on their travels all term.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Zapata, Rodriguez; Borini (Suso 49), Kessie, Biglia (Locatelli 71), Bonaventura; Andre Silva (Kalinic 61), Cutrone
Benevento: Puggioni; Sagna, Djimsiti, Tosca, Letizia; Cataldi, Sandro, Djuricic; Viola (Parigini 76); Brignola (Venuti 68), Iemmello (Diabate 61)
Ref: Mariani

Sent off: Diabate 89 (B)