SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 3 - 31 Aug 2018 (19.30 UK)
Milan 2 - 1 Roma
Kessie 40 (M), Fazio 59 (R), Cutrone 95 (M)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Patrick Cutrone pounced 30 seconds from time to give Milan a hard-fought 2-1 win over Roma after both sides had goals disallowed.

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The Rossoneri had their first home game of the season, as the Week 1 fixture with Genoa was postponed to October 31 following the Ponte Morandi tragedy. They had been leading 2-0 at Napoli only to lose 3-2 and Gennaro Gattuso made only one change from that line-up, Hakan Calhanoglu returning from suspension to replace Fabio Borini. The Giallorossi fought back from 3-1 down to draw with Atalanta, but lost Alessandro Florenzi to injury and transformed to a 3-4-1-2 formation with Ivan Marcano’s debut and the first Rick Karsdorp appearance since October 25 2017.

Roma were unbeaten here since a 2-1 result in May 2015, emerging with three consecutive victories in which they scored nine goals and conceded two.

Davide Calabria blasted just over from a tight angle, then Robin Olsen fingertipped a Gonzalo Higuain daisy-cutter round the base of the near post.

Suso unleashed a scorcher from distance to sting Olsen’s gloves and Milan eventually got their deserved opener before half-time.

Ricardo Rodriguez turned Federico Fazio inside out at the by-line and rolled across the face of goal, where Kessie snuck up behind Ivan Marcano to tap in at the back post.

There was almost a repeat moments later, but this time Aleksandar Kolarov cut out Rodriguez’s low cross to the far stick.

Roma had to abandon the experiment and introduced Stephan El Shaarawy for Marcano, moving to a 4-2-3-1. They immediately seemed sharper, Edin Dzeko drilling wide and Gianluigi Donnarumma sprinting out to tackle El Shaarawy in midfield.

After a series of corners, Roma found their equaliser when Davide Calabria’s poor clearance was straight at Fazio to swing his right boot from just inside the box.

Higuain hit the back of the net for the first time in a Milan jersey 120 seconds later, running on to a through ball from midfield to go round hapless Olsen, but VAR ruled it offside as his toes were over the line.

Calhanoglu tested Olsen at the near post and Higuain blasted over after Nzonzi was caught in possession by Calabria.

Nzonzi had the ball in the back of the net after a corner, but it was disallowed using VAR for the ex-Sevilla midfielder’s handling offence.

The teams looked tired in the final stages, as Dzeko scuffed wide from a promising position after Calabria’s error.

However, with barely 30 seconds left on the clock, Milan pounced. Nzonzi was caught in possession and Higuain threaded through for substitute Cutrone, who swept it first time into the far bottom corner from 12 yards.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez (Laxalt 76); Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura (Cutrone 84); Suso, Higuain, Calhanoglu (Castillejo 80)
Roma: Olsen; Fazio, Manolas, Marcano (El Shaarawy 46); Karsdorp (Santon 77), De Rossi, Nzonzi, Kolarov; Pastore (Cristante 68); Schick, Dzeko
Ref: Guida