SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 38 - 20 May 2018 (17.00 UK)
Milan 5 - 1 Fiorentina
Simeone 20 (F), Calhanoglu 23 (M), Cutrone 41, 58 (M), Kalinic 49 (M), Bonaventura 75 (M)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Milan had gone behind, but came back with a vengeance to crush Fiorentina 5-1 and book their Europa League ticket.

The Rossoneri needed a win to be sure of sixth place and direct access to the Europa League group phase, or at least to match Atalanta’s result at Cagliari, but Riccardo Montolivo and Fabio Borini were suspended with Suso, Andrea Conti and Cristian Zapata injured. Manuel Locatelli stepped in for not 100 per cent fit Lucas Biglia. The Viola were virtually out of the running for Europe and had Jordan Veretout banned.

Milan were unbeaten in their last four meetings with Fiorentina, home and away, including two consecutive home victories.

Franck Kessie ran on to a Giacomo Bonaventura through ball, but his finish was parried and Patrick Cutrone turned the rebound wide.

Marco Sportiello also beat away a Nikola Kalinic strike, but Fiorentina took the lead with their first chance. Leonardo Bonucci was caught in possession by Bryan Dabo, Federico Chiesa’s slide-rule pass allowed Giovanni Simeone to spring the offside trap and dink a delightful finish over Gianluigi Donnarumma.

However, only three minutes later it was 1-1, as Hakan Calhanoglu’s free kick arrowed into the far bottom corner to equalise.

The Rossoneri nearly turned it around completely, but Kessie’s first touch was awful and he crashed into Sportiello.

Vitor Hugo was already in doubt and limped off after 29 minutes, while Calhanoglu was booked for simulation as he went down very easily under a German Pezzella nudge.

Calhanoglu turned defenders inside out to put a cross to the near post, where Cutrone’s brave and precise diving header completed the turnaround. It was Pippo Inzaghi-esque as a finish.

Cutrone almost added a third on the stroke of half-time, his snapshot skimming the upright.

Fiorentina completed their substitutions due to injury and Milan made the most of the situation, as Dragowski did all he could on a Cutrone header from Calhanoglu’s cross, but Kalinic pounced on the rebound.

Calhanoglu and Cutrone had a remarkably strong understanding on the day, something Gennaro Gattuso will surely want to work on in future. The Turkey international’s slide-rule pass was laid on a silver platter for Cutrone to beat Dragowski at the back post.

Cutrone thought he had completed his hat-trick, but was flagged offside on the header.

Bonaventura completed the rout instead, running from midfield and riding two tackles before his finish squirmed under Dragowski.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Locatelli, Bonaventura (Torrasi 85); Cutrone (Andre Silva 70), Kalinic (Antonelli 79), Calhanoglu
Fiorentina: Sportiello (Dragowski 46); Vitor Hugo (Maxi Olivera 29), Pezzella, Milenkovic; Chiesa, Benassi, Cristoforo, Dabo, Biraghi (Gaspar 46); Saponara; Simeone
Ref: Fabbri