Milan put in their best performance of the season so far, winning 3-2 in Bologna with Krzysztof Piatek, Theo Hernandez and Jack Bonaventura.
This was a very special occasion, as Sinisa Mihajlovic was on the bench for the first time since undergoing a bone marrow transplant and did so against his old club, earning a standing ovation from both sets of fans.
It was a head-to-head for position, as Bologna came into the weekend only one point behind Milan. Gary Medel was suspended, with Mitchell Dijks and Roberto Soriano injured, while Mattia Caldara and Leo Duarte were still out of action. Both were fresh from victories, as the Rossoblu stunned Napoli, while the Rossoneri squeezed past Parma.
Milan had a famously good record here, unbeaten in Serie A since March 2002, losing only one of their last 19 top flight matches against Bologna, home and away.
Krzysztof Piatek kept his place despite pressure from fans to start Rafael Leao, but it paid off, because he ran into the box and Mattia Bani bundled into the back of him for a penalty. Franck Kessie seemed to want the spot-kick, but Piatek sent fellow Pole Lukasz Skorupski the wrong way with a stuttering run-up to end his six-game goal drought.
Hakan Calhanoglu scuffed wide from a promising position, but the visitors doubled their lead with a well-worked move.
Suso dribbled past a tackle and placed a perfect slide-rule pass into the box for Theo Hernandez, who sprung the offside trap and kept his cool to beat Skorupski from close range. It was the left-back’s fourth goal of the season.
However, Theo Hernandez found his name on the scoresheet again, except on the wrong side. A corner was whipped hard at the near post and he anticipated Danilo, accidentally deflecting it into the net off his arm.
Milan came out fighting for the second half and restored their two-goal cushion within 60 seconds. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s clearance was poor, but Jack Bonaventura had a lot of work still to do and curled a fantastic left-foot finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Gianluigi Donnarumma was alert from close range after a strong Andrea Poli run, while Hakan Calhanoglu’s volley tested Skorupski and a Piatek strike was deflected off target.
Andreas Skov-Olsen and Mattias Svanberg wasted from promising positions, then on 80 minutes three Riccardo Orsolini’s free kick was nodded over from close range by Bani.
There was controversy when Theo Hernandez barged into the back of Orsolini in the box. The referee waved play on, much to Bologna’s fury, because it was identical to the move that saw Milan awarded a penalty in the first half. After a VAR on-field review, the referee realised that too and Sansone converted low into the near bottom corner.
It set up a tense finale, but Milan held on for the victory after what was by a long way their best performance of the season so far.
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