Milan only managed a point against high-flying Hellas Verona, despite Sofyan Amrabat seeing red at San Siro, with both sides rattling the woodwork.
The Rossoneri were decimated, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Simon Kjaer had flu, Andrea Conti laid low by tonsillitis, Lucas Biglia and Rade Krunic injured, Ismael Bennacer suspended. Suso and Krzysztof Piatek were sold on transfer deadline day, so Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao were the only attacking options. Verona were only two points behind Milan going into this weekend and were missing just Eddie Salcedo.
Hellas used a False 9 system that seemed to confuse the hosts and took the lead after 13 minutes when Marco Davide Faraoni snuck up behind Theo Hernandez to volley in Mattia Zaccagni’s cross at the back post.
Milan struggled to create chances, but were able to equalise when Hakan Calhanoglu’s free kick took a big deflection off Valerio Verre to wrong-foot Marco Silvestri.
Rebic couldn’t keep his finish on target after drawing out Silvestri, while Alessio Romagnoli’s header was wide on a Samu Castillejo corner.
Sofyan Amrabat tested Gianluigi Donnarumma after the restart, but Verona had a huge chance on 50 minutes when Matteo Pessina’s header thumped the far upright with the goalkeeper beaten.
Verona rattled the woodwork again with Mattia Zaccagni’s strike soon after, then on the resulting corner, a header pinballed around the six-yard box with nobody able to finish it.
Milan were riding their luck and found themselves against 10 men, because Sofyan Amrabat went studs-up on Samu Castillejo and the referee was urged to take an on-field VAR review, opting for the straight red card. He had originally not even booked the Verona midfielder.
Deadline day signing Alexis Saelemaekers made his debut for Davide Calabria, as the hosts poured forward trying to take advantage of the extra man.
Silvestri was at full stretch to push away a Leao snapshot, but in stoppages Silvestri only parried a Theo Hernandez attempt and Castillejo fired the rebound on to the upright.
There was time for some history, as Daniel Maldini – son of Paolo, grandson of Cesare – made his Serie A debut in the Milan jersey.
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Sent off: Amrabat 67 (V)