Serie A Week 17 - 22 Dec 2018 (14.00 UK)
Milan 0 - 1 Fiorentina
Chiesa 73 (F)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Federico Chiesa’s scorcher proved the difference between Milan and Fiorentina at San Siro, as the Rossoneri were too wasteful.

This was a showdown for European ambitions, as Gennaro Gattuso remained under pressure after the Europa League exit to Olympiacos, plus back-to-back goalless draws with Torino and Bologna. He had to revamp his entire midfield, as Franck Kessie and Tiemoue Bakayoko were suspended, with Lucas Biglia, Andrea Bertolacci, Giacomo Bonaventura, Fabio Borini and Mattia Caldara injured. He scrapped the 4-4-2 and dropped Patrick Cutrone to the bench, with Davide Calabria and Hakan Calhanoglu moving to midfield. Fiorentina welcomed back Nikola Milenkovic, Jordan Veretout and Edimilson Fernandes from bans.

The Viola had lost each of their last three Serie A visits to Milan, so a fourth would’ve been their worst run here since 1997.

Calhanoglu’s snapshot was well smothered by Alban Lafont and he fired another wide after a give-and-go with Suso, while Ricardo Rodriguez forced a difficult save from outside the box at the near post.

Milan were dominating the first half and Calhanoglu thought he’d scored when the strike beat Lafont, but Milenkovic was ready for a decisive goal-line clearance.

The hosts started to push after the restart, with Higuain’s header and a Suso solo effort testing Lafont, while a Veretout free kick was deflected just beyond Vitor Hugo.

Federico Chiesa broke the deadlock with a moment of magic, as he cut inside past Calabria and unleashed a right-foot rocket from 20 metres into the far bottom corner. It was pretty much unstoppable for Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Milan tried to fight back, but Lafont flew to fingertip a Ricardo Rodriguez header over the bar and Patrick Cutrone’s volley was off target.

Andrea Conti made his comeback after 483 days out, but that was the only positive note for Milan.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Abate (Conti 83), Romagnoli, Zapata, Rodriguez; Calabria, Mauri (Cutrone 67), Calhanoglu; Suso, Higuain, Castillejo (Laxalt 67)
Fiorentina: Lafont; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Vitor Hugo, Biraghi; Edimilson Fernandes, Veretout, Benassi (Laurini 87); Chiesa, Simeone (Pjaca 88), Mirallas (Gerson 62)
Ref: Mariani