Milan 2-0 Roma: Red-hot Rebic and Calhanoglu strike late

3 months ago

Paulo Fonseca's Roma were unable to make it four Serie A wins in a row as Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu scored late goals.

Ante Rebic's eighth Serie A goal of 2020 and a late penalty from Hakan Calhanoglu dented Roma's top-four hopes as Milan claimed a 2-0 Serie A win at San Siro.

The Giallorossi were seeking four successive top-flight victories for the first time all season but hot and humid conditions in Milan seemed to sap them of any creativity.

Edin Dzeko missed the target with a close-range header in the first half and the contest was heading for a dour draw until Rebic popped up with the opening goal 14 minutes from time to continue his fine form since the turn of the year.

Theo Hernandez was then tripped in the box by Chris Smalling with two minutes to go, allowing Calhanoglu to make sure of the points with an emphatic penalty.

Both sides were slow to get going but it was Roma who eventually seized some sort of control.

Dzeko really should have scored with a header when unmarked six yards out but he could only flick Justin Kluivert's deflected cross wide.

It was a similar story at the other end when Calhanoglu nodded off target from Hernandez's delivery, with the presence of Antonio Mirante possibly putting the Milan man off.

Milan failed to register a single shot on target in the first half but they twice worked Mirante in quick succession midway through the second period following the introduction of Lucas Paqueta and Alexis Saelemaekers from the bench.

Calhanoglu got behind the Roma defence via a one-two with Saelemaekers but Mirante denied the Turkish midfielder with his legs before pushing away an effort from Paqueta.

A Milan goal did eventually come, though, after Davide Zappacosta gave the ball away to Rebic in his own half.

Mirante saved from Franck Kessie and then diverted Rebic's first attempt onto the post but the in-form forward rifled the rebound into the roof of the net.

Hernandez's driving run then paid off when he reached the ball before Smalling, and Calhanoglu converted his penalty to give Milan breathing space.


What does it mean? Top four a tall order for Roma

Fonseca's side still have Atalanta in their sights but the team currently occupying fourth won their fifth league match in a row by beating title contenders Lazio on Thursday.

Roma can therefore not afford any slip-ups, and this was a damaging result for their Champions League aspirations as they failed to close the gap to three points.

Rebic finds a way through

Chances were few and far between in this one and, though he squandered the first opportunity that came his way, Rebic made amends with the rebound.

After a slow start to life at San Siro, the former Eintracht Frankfurt star has come alive and has scored eight of their 18 Serie A goals – 44 per cent - in 2020.

Oh no, Dzeko

While Rebic was ruthless with his finishing, Dzeko was unusually wasteful when opportunity knocked early on.

The ex-Manchester City striker has scored four times against Milan in Serie A but he failed to make that five on an afternoon when he won only a third of his aerial duels and was taken off.

Key Opta Facts

- Rebic has scored 47 per cent of Milan's Serie A goals in 2020. He has eight of the Rossoneri's 17, which is at least five more than any of his team-mates in the period.
- Milan have won two consecutive Serie A home matches against Roma for the first time since 2004, when Carlo Ancelotti was their coach.
- Roma failed to find the net after scoring an average of 2.2 goals in their previous nine Serie A games.
- Rebic has scored eight goals in his past nine appearances for Milan in Serie A.

What's next?

Milan have a midweek trip to SPAL before visiting Lazio while Roma host Udinese on Thursday prior to a trip to Napoli on Sunday.

Related news

Rumour Has It: Arthur and Pjanic set for medicals ahead of Barcelona, Juventus swap

3 months ago

Dortmund accept defeat over Hakimi as Inter move seemingly edges closer

3 months ago

Arthur on Barcelona bench ahead of reported Juventus medical

3 months ago

Rumour Has It: Achraf Hakimi to leave Madrid for Inter, Sane's Bayern move on hold

3 months ago

Ronaldo will improve the more he plays, says Sarri

3 months ago

I don't know if Pjanic will stay - Juve boss Sarri unconcerned by transfer rumours

3 months ago

Dortmund still in 'close contact' with Madrid over Hakimi despite Inter speculation

3 months ago

Juventus 4-0 Lecce: Dybala, Ronaldo and Higuain help open up seven-point gap

3 months ago

Arthur in Barcelona squad for Celta trip amid Juventus speculation

3 months ago

Barcelona have not told me Arthur is leaving - Setien

3 months ago

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid years – Opta data outlines his impact 11 years after joining Los Blancos

3 months ago

Rumour Has It: Bayern to offload Thiago to finance Havertz move, Guendouzi talking to Barca and PSG

3 months ago

Liverpool win Premier League: The earliest title wins across Europe's top five divisions

3 months ago

Higuain return important for Juventus - Sarri

3 months ago

Sarri has no Pjanic problems despite talk of imminent Arthur swap

3 months ago

Serie A title looks 'a little bit far' for Lazio, says Inzaghi

3 months ago

Barca target Lautaro Martinez isn't for sale – Inter CEO Marotta

3 months ago

Atalanta don't need a coach anymore after Lazio comeback, jokes Gasperini

3 months ago

Atalanta 3-2 Lazio: Gasperini's thrill-seekers blow hole in Biancocelesti Scudetto bid

3 months ago