SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 7 - 30 Sep 2018 (19.30 UK)
Sassuolo 1 - 4 Milan
Kessie 39 (M), Suso 49, 95 (M), Castillejo 60 (M), Djuricic 68 (S)
Mapei Stadium

Milan had no available strikers, but Franck Kessie, Suso and Samu Castillejo scored left-foot scorchers to conquer high-flying Sassuolo 4-1.

The Rossoneri were struggling and had no available strikers, as Gonzalo Higuain was out with Patrick Cutrone and Fabio Borini carrying ankle injuries, so Samu Castillejo was used as a False 9. The Neroverdi would leapfrog Napoli into second place with a victory here and could count on ex-Milan men Kevin-Prince Boateng and Manuel Locatelli.

Suso hit the woodwork in the opening four minutes, as his shot from the tightest of angles clipped the near post.

The Castillejo experiment didn’t last longer than 10 minutes, as he then swapped places with Hakan Calhanoglu. It almost paid off, as Calhanoglu and Jack Bonaventura combined to send Franck Kessie clear down the right, but his chip over the on-rushing goalkeeper was cleared off the line by Pol Lirola.

Sassuolo had a great chance when Domenico Berardi threaded through for Federico Di Francesco to spring the offside trap, but his angled drive was parried at the near post by Gigio Donnarumma’s foot.

Ignazio Abate made a stunning sliding tackle to prevent Di Francesco’s tap-in from five yards, a goal-saving challenge.

Kessie had come so close earlier and he did break the deadlock on 39 minutes. The Ivorian midfielder gathered from well inside his own half, went on a powerful run and took advantage of his teammates spreading the defenders to burst through the middle with a low drive from the edge of the box.

Milan really should’ve had another, but failed to make the most of Marlon getting caught in possession inside his own penalty area.

After the restart, Suso finally broke the goal drought that had lasted since February 4. He held off a defender, juggled with the ball to turn and curl the left-foot strike into the far top corner from the edge of the area.

Di Francesco had penalty appeals waved away when he collided with Lucas Biglia in the box, then Suso pulled back from the by-line for Bonaventura to test Consigli.

Milan made it 3-0 on the hour mark with a ferocious strike from Castillejo, who unleashed a left-foot screamer from outside the box.

However, the Rossoneri made it 12 consecutive Serie A games without a clean sheet, as substitute Filip Djuricic turned on a sixpence and placed a snooker shot into the near bottom corner.

Sassuolo again started to pin Milan back in search of another, as Khouma Babacar’s overhead kick went wide, but it was too large a gap to overcome.

Instead, Suso went on the counter and was brought down on the edge of the box. He took the free kick, which hit the wall, it bounced back into his path and the rebound ricocheted in off a Sassuolo foot. It was at first disallowed for Cutrone's offside position, but after the VAR silent check, the goal was given.

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Sassuolo: Consigli; Lirola, Marlon, Ferrari, Rogerio; Bourabia (Djuricic 57), Locatelli, Sensi; Berardi (Babacar 75), Boateng, Di Francesco (Boga 57)
Milan: G Donnarumma; Abate (Calabria 89), Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodríguez; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Castillejo (Cutrone 71), Calhanoglu (Laxalt 77)
Ref: Giacomelli