Ibra Continues To Inspire Rossoneri Revolution as Milan Beat Bologna


Milan continued their perfect start to the 2020-21 campaign as they followed their 2-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League qualifiers with a 2-0 win over Bologna at the San Siro.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the star of the night, a statement that continues to link with him despite his advancing years. His return to Serie A follows the boastful fashion that is associated with him. The Swede scored in both halves to ensure the Rossoneri took home the three points on offer.

Milan could have started on the wrong footing with Ismael Bennacer committing a defensive blunder. The Algerian’s blushes were saved as Roberto Soriano’s shot was deflected off target with Franck Kessié ultimately relieving the pressure with a clearance.

Only after five minutes of the game did the Milanese outfit got a sniff at goal and they improved with the passage of play. Ante Rebic was the driving force from the left flank, but his efforts were undone with clearances by Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men.

The Croatian was in the center of things as Stefano Pioli’s boys created their first real chance of the game. He combined with Hakan Calhanoglu in the buildup, only for Zlatan to see his shot deflected off target. The Turk should have gotten on the scoreboard in the 14th minute but missed the target.

Bologna had equal bragging rights for possession but failed to make anything out of it. Nicolas Dominguez’s 22nd minute outside the box shot was their only meaningful attempt. However, it was easily managed by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

By the half-hour mark, the hosts got another chance to put themselves on the scoreboard. Ibrahimovic combined with Franck Kessie to square the ball in the box. Lukasz Skorupski’s poor clearance fell to Bennacer, who failed to make anything of the opportunity.

It would not be the same result five minutes later. Ibrahimovic allowed Pioli to relax as he opened the scoring. Theo Hernandez sent in a delightful cross which the well-traveled Swede easily headed home.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the absolute protagonist in Milan’s 2-0 win over Bologna on Monday night

The second half promised entertainment from the get-go. After Zlatan had been flagged offside, Bologna produced a rare scoring opportunity of their own. It came to nothing as the offense fizzled away. Mitchell Dijks who had just put in a dangerous cross for the visitors could have cost his side with a lapse in concentration.  Zlatan should have scored but Lukasz Skorupski was equal to the task.

Milan finally managed to add to their tally as Zlatan slotted from the spot when the Rossoneri were awarded a penalty after a VAR check. Riccardo Orsolini tripped Bennacer inside the area to add to Bologna’s woes.

Milan upped the tempo shortly afterward. Kessié and Bennacer had their shots blocked in succession, while Zlatan’s attempt on goal was controlled by Skorupski. The Swede was aiming for a hat-trick and should have gotten it after the hour-mark. Calhanoglu released Ibra one-on-one with the goalkeeper but he failed to make the most of the opportunity.

Pioli then made some tactical substitutions as Brahim Diaz and Leo Duarte came on for the final 20 minutes. They were shortly joined by Sandro Tonali. The arrival of the trio reinvigorated the Rossoneri, who tried to add to their tally. However, their efforts were in vain.

There was late drama in the fixture as Dijks received his marching orders in the 88th minute. He earned his second yellow card of the night after a tactical foul on Alexis Saelemaekers.

The Rossoneri were the deserved winners and Zlatan the understandable Man of the Match. Bologna battled for possession but could not produce anything of value to trouble Milan.

While Pioli will be pleased with the result, there were positives for Mihajlovic to take back home. The Rossoblu were let down by their midfield, where the match was lost, but in the attack Musa Barrow gave a good account of himself. The young Gambian forward did not get enough opportunities to trouble the scorers but still troubled the Milanese defense.



September 21, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 1

SCORERS: 35′ Ibrahimovic, 51′ Ibrahimovic pen.

MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer (71′ Duarte), Gabbia, Hernandez; Kessié (76′ Tonali), Bennacer (85′ Krunic); Castillejo (46′ Saelemakers), Calhanoglu (71′ Brahim Diaz), Rebic; Ibrahimovic (Tatarusanu, A. Donnarumma, Kalulu, Paquetá, Laxalt, Maldini, Colombo) Coach: Pioli
BOLOGNA (4-2-3-1): Skorupski; De Silvestri, Danilo, Tomiyasu, Dijks; Schouten, Dominguez (57′ Sansone); Orsolini (59′ Skov Olsen), Soriano (79′ Svanberg), Barrow (82′ Vignato); Palacio (79′ Santander) (Da Costa, Bani, Mbaye, Denswil, Juwara, Poli, Baldursson) Coach: Mihajlovic

REFEREE: Mr. La Penna from Rome
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Castillejo, Krunic (M), Dijks, Dominguez, Tomiyasu, Sansone (B); Red Card: Dijks (B); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′; 2nd Half 4′