SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 38 - 26 May 2019 (19.30 UK)
Spal 2 - 3 Milan
Calhanoglu 18 (M), Kessie 23, pen 66 (M), Vicari 27 (S), Fares 53 (S)
Stadio Paolo Mazza

Milan won a chaotic 3-2 thriller at the Stadio Mazza against a plucky SPAL, but it’s not enough to earn a Champions League spot, as Inter and Atalanta also won.

The Rossoneri went into the final round in fifth place, one point behind both Atalanta and Inter, so they needed a result here and for at least one of the others to slip up. Lucas Paqueta was still suspended, with Davide Calabria, Mattia Caldara, Ivan Strinic and Jack Bonaventura injured, so Ignazio Abate made his final appearance in a Milan jersey. SPAL missed Dias Felipe, Vasco Regini, Lorenzo Dickmann, Pasquale Schiattarella and Alberto Paloschi, but started their strongest available XI.

Krzysztof Piatek forced a save out of Emiliano Viviano’s legs with an early angled drive, as did Hakan Calhanoglu. Milan’s pressure paid off, because Franck Kessie pulled back to the edge of the area, where Calhanoglu struck his right-foot finish low and sweet into the far bottom corner.

Moments later, Milan lost goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to an injury and Pepe Reina was introduced.

However, the Rossoneri doubled their lead at the Stadio Mazza, as Kessie added to his assist with a powerful left-foot strike into the roof of the net.

SPAL got themselves back into it from a deadball situation, as Francesco Vicari’s glancing header surprised Reina.

The hosts completed a surprise comeback from 2-0 down to 2-2 after the restart, Thiago Cionek’s cross finding Mohamed Fares for a looping header at the back post that floated past everyone.

It remained wide open and Cionek was penalised for a slight push from behind on Piatek. Kessie stepped up and kept it tight, sending Viviano the wrong way with a delicate finish to restore Milan’s lead from the spot.

It remained surprisingly open at the Stadio Mazza, as Viviano saved a Suso volley and Sergio Floccari’s glancing header on a Murgia corner clipped the crossbar in the final minute.

It still wasn’t enough, because both Atalanta and Inter won, so Milan go into the Europa League.

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Spal: Viviano; Cionek (Floccari 77), Vicari, Bonifazi; Lazzari, Valoti (Jankovic 72), Murgia (Simic 91), Kurtic, Fares; Petagna, Antenucci
Milan: G Donnarumma (Reina 21); Abate (Cutrone 63), Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bakayoko, Calhanoglu; Suso, Piatek, Borini (Conti 80)
Ref: Valeri