SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 2 - 31 Aug 2019 (17.00 UK)
Milan 1 - 0 Brescia
Calhanoglu 12 (M)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Hakan Calhanoglu’s early header proved enough for Milan to get the first points of the season, beating Brescia with surprise changes to their line-up.

Coach Marco Giampaolo transformed his side after a 1-0 defeat to Udinese, dropping Lucas Paqueta, Fabio Borini and above all Krzysztof Piatek, giving Andre Silva a shock start when he had been on the market all summer. He also changed his trademark 4-3-1-2 formation to a Christmas Tree shape, with new buy Ismael Bennacer’s first start, but Lucas Biglia, Pepe Reina, Theo Hernandez and Mattia Caldara were still injured. The Rondinelle won their opener at Cagliari and welcomed Ernesto Torregrossa back from injury.

It took just 12 minutes to break the deadlock with what was also Milan’s first shot on target of the season. Suso got to the by-line and floated back a cross, where Hakan Calhanoglu was allowed a free downward header at the back post.

There was more bad news for Brescia, as Bruno Martella limped off with an injury and made way for Ales Mateju just 30 seconds later.

The visitors really should’ve equalised when Dimitri Bisoli incredibly ballooned over from close range on a corner, while Andre Silva’s lob was over-hit after a long Suso pass from his own half.

Stefano Sabelli’s strike took a big deflection off Ricardo Rodriguez and Gigio Donnarumma had to readjust mid-air to palm it away. Torregrossa had a knock just before the break and made way for Florian Aye, the second forced substitution for Brescia.

Milan still seemed short on ideas and genuine chances, so Piatek replaced Andre Silva on the hour mark and Lucas Paqueta came on for Calhanoglu, but Brescia were taking control.

Sandro Tonali’s free kick hit the side-netting and Davide Calabria bravely flung himself in the path of Daniele Dessena’s volley after Gianluigi Donnarumma fingertipped a cross off the head of Aye.

At the other end, Kessie and substitute Fabio Borini both mis-kicked their shots in the box, while the Ivorian curled over after good work from Suso.

Milan suddenly sprung the life in the final five minutes with chance after chance. Piatek fired straight at Jesse Joronen from point-blank range, then the Pole flicked one on for Paqueta only for the Brazilian’s scorcher to bounce off the upright.

Piatek forced a fingertip Joronen save from the edge of the box, then on the resulting corner Piatek again saw his strike squirm through the goalkeeper’s arms, but Joronen clawed back a long arm to stop the ball completely crossing the line.

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Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bennacer, Calhanoglu (Paqueta 65); Suso, Castillejo (Borini 80); Andre Silva (Piatek 60)
Brescia: Joronen; Sabelli, Cistana, Chancellor, Martella (Mateju 13); Bisoli, Tonali, Dessena; Spalek (Tremolada 76); Torregrossa (Aye 46), A Donnarumma
Ref: Abisso