Gianluca Lapadula scored his first ever Serie A goal with a cheeky back-heel flick, earning complacent Milan a 2-1 win at Palermo.
The Rossoneri wanted to consolidate third place after winning six of the last eight rounds and visited a Sicilian side in total crisis. Roberto De Zerbi had managed one point from the last six games and the Rosanero had lost all five of their home fixtures this season, scoring two goals and conceding 12.
M'Baye Niang, Andrea Bertolacci, Davide Calabria, Riccardo Montolivo and Leonel Vangioni didn’t make the trip, but Mati Fernandez and Luca Antonelli were available after lengthy lay-offs and Gabriel Paletta returned from suspension. Palermo missed Andrea Rispoli, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Norbert Balogh, Accursio Bentivegna and Aleksandar Trajkovski.
The Sicilians had lost six of their previous eight meetings with Milan, home and away, with a lone 2-0 victory at San Siro in November 2014 and 2-2 draw at the Barbera in October 2012. The Rossoneri were unbeaten in this Serie A fixture since a 1-0 in March 2011.
Jack Bonaventura flashed an angled drive across the face of goal, but Palermo gifted the opener to Milan with a total lack of communication.
Mattia De Sciglio’s cross was deflected into the air and Josip Posavec came out to grab it, but Haitam Aleesami also went for the ball and they collided, allowing Suso to turn into the empty net.
Carlos Bacca forced 20-year-old Posavec into a tricky save and Sinisa Andelkovic prevented Mario Pasalic getting on the rebound, but as the half wore on the hosts were piling on more pressure and getting more of the ball.
Carlos Embalo hit a weak effort straight at Gianluigi Donnarumma, then Bruno Henrique took advantage of poor defending to shoot from the penalty spot, but the finish was charged down from point-blank range by Paletta.
Mati Fernandez finally made his Milan debut after a transfer deadline day move from Fiorentina, but Palermo continued to whip in crosses and shots from all angles. The Rossoneri simply stopped playing after taking the lead.
Palermo eventually did get their thoroughly deserved equaliser, as Ilija Nestorovski ran on to an Alessandro Diamanti through ball and surprised Donnarumma by firing low and hard at the near post.
That woke the Rossoneri up, but Posavec performed two sensational flying saves on Suso, but Bruno Henrique also drilled just wide from the D.
Suso was again denied by a stunning Posavec, who flew to fingertip the lob on to the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Gianluca Lapadula saw Suso’s shot coming towards him from the edge of the box and gave it a cheeky back-heel flick to surprise the goalkeeper. It was a remarkable way to net his first ever Serie A goal and he’d only been on the pitch for three minutes.
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