AC Milan with an emphatic 3-0 win over Lazio at the Olimpico
Yes, AC Milan did just conquer the Olimpico, travelling home with a huge 3-0 win over Lazio. A fantastic and precious victory, perhaps the most prestigious this season. There’s no doubt that tonight marks AC Milan’s most valuable win since the return of football, in a striking performance to beat second in the table Lazio, a team well in the title race and one who hadn’t lost at home all season. Three goals scored, zero conceded: a solid performance full of character and class, with an absolute impeccable first half from the Rossoneri. The game was decided in the first 45 thanks to a goal from Çalhanoğlu and an Ibrahimović penalty, and the second half saw a measured performance from AC Milan as usual suspect Rebić got his name on the scoresheet. There was no better way to react to the draw in Ferrara, especially with two huge fixtures fast approaching in the clashes with Juve and Napoli. With matchday 30 in Serie A now complete for Il Diavolo, AC Milan sit in sixth spot on 46 points, now awaiting their next fixture as the table leaders visit San Siro on Tuesday 7 July, kick-off coming at 21:45 CEST. Nothing but applause and words of praise for the team and every individual tonight, with no exceptions. The only negative from this evening was Çalhanoğlu’s muscle injury, which will be assessed in the coming days.
Lazio looked to make a spark right away, looking especially dangerous from set-pieces in the opening stages. However, the Rossoneri responded to the home side’s siege with focus and character, making the most of their chances when the first one arrived. Çalhanoğlu starred in a great bit of interplay in the 23rd minute, then firing one off his right from outside the area. His effort deflected off Parolo and looped up and over a helpless Strakosha in net to give AC Milan the lead. The Rossoneri looked to have secured a second in the 32nd minute as Ibrahimović volleyed home Conti’s cross to make it two, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. However, Zlatan wasted no time in making things right, and stepped up to tuck away an AC Milan penalty in the 34th minute, won after Saelemaekers’ cross struck Radu’s trailing arm in the box. Things looked uncertain for a moment as the opposition goalkeeper seemed to have made an excellent save, but he could do nothing as the ball kept up its momentum and rolled into the net. Luis Alberto popped up with a chance in added time, but he sent his shot wide and the Rossoneri went in at the break 2-0 up.
A lively start to the second half, with Donnarumma keeping out Correa in minute 49 and Strakosha swallowing up Kessie’s placed effort just a minute later. The Biancocelesti seemed to have halved the deficit in the 53rd minute, but a solid line from our defence saw Lazzari’s finish ruled out for offside. The Rossoneri didn’t take their foot off the gas, and more chances arrived as Bonaventura fizzed one past the post in the 56th minute. Then the third goal came in minute 59, Rebić being played in by Jack and tucking away from close range to make it three. AC Milan had two more great chances in the closing stages, but Hernández failed to find that elusive fourth goal after finding himself twice in a great position. The full-time whistle, three goals and three points for the Rossoneri.
LAZIO 0-3 AC MILAN
LAZIO (3-5-2): Strakosha; Patric, Acerbi, Radu (55′ Vavro); Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic (67′ D. Anderson), Leiva (46′ Adekanye), Parolo, Jony (55′ Lukaku); Luis Alberto, Correa (64′ Cataldi). Subs: Proto, Guerrieri; Armini, Bastos, Falbo, Silva; A. Anderson. Coach: Inzaghi.
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Conti (72′ Calabria), Kjær, Romagnoli, Hernández; Kessie (86′ Biglia), Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Çalhanoğlu (38′ Paquetá), Bonaventura (71′ Krunić); Ibrahimović (46′ Rebić). Subs: Begović, A. Donnarumma; Gabbia, Laxalt; Brescianini; Leão, Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: Calvarese from Teramo.
Goals: 23′ Çalhanoğlu (M), 34′ pen. Ibrahimović (M), 59′ Rebić (M).
Booked: 78′ Lukaku (L), 81′ Paquetá (M).