Milan vs Bologna 2-0: Leao and Giroud Off the Mark

High-performing Milan eased past an out-of-sorts Bologna at San Siro on Saturday evening to bounce back from last week’s draw in Bergamo. The defending Serie A champions scored on either side of half-time to claim a comprehensive 2-0 win over former boss Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Milan headed into proceedings as odds-on favourites to acquire all three points despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Atalanta last time out. The Rossoneri started off on a strong footing, dominating possession and pushing Bologna deep into their own territory from the opening whistle. 

However, Stefano Pioli’s side found clear-cut scoring chances hard to come by in the opening 15 minutes. But their persistence paid off in the 21st minute. Marquee summer addition Charles De Ketelaere picked up the ball in the middle of the park and charged forward before putting Rafael Leao on a silver platter.

One-on-one with Bologna keeper Lucasz Skorupski, last season’s Serie A MVP made no mistake to get off the mark in 2022/23. Leao’s deadlock-breaker made things a lot more comfortable for Milan as the visitors pushed forward in numbers, leaving up more spaces at the back.

Milan came close to doubling their lead twice before half-time. Pierre Kalulu found himself in unfamiliar territory as De Ketelaere’s inch-perfect lob pass set him one-on-one with Skorupski, who pulled off a stunning save to thwart his close-range attempt. 

In the dying moments of the first half, Leao’s blistering pace saw him run from his own half almost to the by-line, only to see Skorupski deny him from close range. However, Milan never thought about abandoning their attacking-minded philosophy for a second. 

They were continually on Bologna’s half beyond the break but had to wait until the 58th minute to put clear daylight between the sides. Bologna left-back Andrea Cambiaso’s poor giveaway allowed Leao to chip the ball over the top and assist Olivier Giroud for his first goal this term.

Milan took their foot off the gas after scoring the second goal, but Mihajlovic’s side failed to recover. Bologna finished the game without a single shot on target, with Mike Maignan registering his first clean sheet of the season.