Milan started life without Gonzalo Higuain with a crucial 2-0 victory away to Genoa, as Fabio Borini and Suso goals put them back in fourth place.
This game was played in a very strange atmosphere for several reasons. The kick-off time was moved to a Monday afternoon amid security concerns, so local fans refused to attend. Gennaro Gattuso was suspended, along with Franck Kessie, Davide Calabria and Alessio Romagnoli, while Lucas Biglia, Mattia Caldara and Jack Bonaventura were injured. Gonzalo Higuain didn’t make the trip, as he was distracted by an imminent move to Chelsea. Milan were in advanced talks with his replacement, Krzysztof Piatek of Genoa, who didn’t play today because of a ban.
It was an even worse start for the Rossoneri, because Cristian Zapata got injured trying to charge down a Christian Kouame shot, so Andrea Conti came on and moved Ignazio Abate to centre-back.
Davide Biraschi curled over the bar and Daniel Bessa dribbled through to go clear on goal, testing Gianluigi Donnarumma’s reflexes. So did Tiemoue Bakayoko, who almost scored an own goal trying to anticipate Goran Pandev on a Mimmo Criscito pull-back from the by-line.
However, Lucas Paquetá almost scored a stunner on his Serie A debut, as on the stroke of half-time his long-range volley beat Ionut Radu to thump the outside of the near post.
Fabio Borini’s curler was plucked out from under the bar, Ricardo Rodriguez made a decisive tackle after Pandev dribbled past two in the penalty area and Criscito’s volley flashed wide.
Paquetá set up Borini for a chest and angled drive across the face of goal, skimming the far post, while the Brazilian turned a weak free header straight at Radu on Calhanoglu’s floated cross. Moments later, Donnarumma needed a double save on Miguel Veloso and the Bessa follow-up from point-blank range.
Milan broke through eventually, as Conti pulled back from the by-line for unmarked Borini to tap in from six yards, as he ghosted between defenders to find space.
Genoa fought back immediately and Donnarumma somehow got a hand to push Miguel Veloso’s absolute rocket on to the underside of the crossbar.
However, Patrick Cutrone sent Suso on the counter from the centre-circle and the Spaniard sprinted away from defenders to place a precise angled drive in off the inside of the far post.
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