Milan vs Roma 3-1: Pioli Extends Non-Losing Record Against Mourinho

Stefano Pioli maintained his non-losing record against Josè Mourinho as Milan beat Roma 3-1 at the San Siro on Sunday night. The two had faced each other five times in Serie A so far, and the Parma-born coach had never lost to the Special One from Portugal.

That continued tonight, at the end of a clash between two scorned sides who had both crashed out of the Coppa Italia earlier in the week. The Rossoneri consolidated their third place in the Serie A table with goals from Yacine Adli, Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez.

Roma, on the other hand, plummeted to the ninth position as Leandro Paredes’ spot kick only served the purpose of making their defeat a little less humbling. What’s worse, the Giallorossi never seemed in condition to cause any concern to Pioli’s side, save for the initial five minutes.

With Matteo Gabbia back in the Milan roster at center back, Pioli opted to move Theo Hernandez back to his natural role on the left. Ruben Loftus-Cheek played higher on the pitch than usual, joining Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao behind Olivier Giroud as the Rossoneri coach featured his trademark 4-2-3-1 setup.

Mourinho, who watched the game from the stands of the San Siro as he was serving a one-match ban, surprised the audience as he deployed Mile Svilar between the posts instead of his fellow countryman Rui Patricio. Former Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy was chosen to partner upfront with Romelu Lukaku, with Andrea Belotti sitting on the bench.

The Roman Wolves had an encouraging start, but their good intentions crashed against Milan’s effectiveness. The Rossoneri opened the scoring from their very first chance, a beautiful exchange between Pulisic, Tijjani Reijnders and Adli, which the young Frenchman concluded with a clinical left foot finish.

Roma’s reaction was in a dangerous right foot shot from Zeki Celik and a Leonardo Spinazzola conclusion that was brilliantly defused by Mike Maignan. The Giallorossi did not produce much in the first 45 minutes and, at half time, the one-goal lead for Milan seemed legitimate.

Roma lost Gianluca Mancini due to an injury at half time and Mourinho replaced him with Lorenzo Pellegrini, moving Bryan Cristante back to defense. The Roma captain would end up being the MVP for his depleted side, winning the penalty that Paredes converted on 69 minutes.

When that happened though, Milan had already added a second goal to their tally. It was Giroud to answer the call once again, heading the ball home from an Adli cross which was also deflected by Simon Kjaer. The Frenchman was lethal in the box as always, but both Edoardo Bove and Rasmus Kristensen should have done a better job at marking him.

Davide Calabria naively fouled Pellegrini in the box, and the subsequent penalty seemed to give new life to the Giallorossi, but the illusion didn’t last long as Hernandez wrapped it for the home side on 84 minutes. The Frenchman fired the ball past Svilar from the edge of the box, well served by Giroud with a spectacular back heel assist.

Pioli can breathe a sigh of relief, while the situation for Roma and Mourinho is getting more and more precarious by the day.



January 14, 2023 – Serie A 2022-2023 Round 20

SCORERS: 11′ Adli (M), 56′ Giroud (M), 69′ Paredes (R, pen.), 84′ Hernandez (M) 

MILAN (4-3-3): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez (88’ Jimenez); Loftus-Cheek, Adli (88’ Zeroli), Reijnders; Pulisic (79’ Musah), Giroud, Rafael Leao (79’ Okafor) (Mirante, Nava, Simic, Bartesaghi, Terracciano, Romero, Chaka Traoré, Okafor, Jovic) Coach: Pioli
ROMA (3-5-2): Svilar; Kristensen, Mancini (46′ Pellegrini), Llorente (79’ Huijsen); Celik (79’ Zalewski) Cristante, Paredes, Bove, Spinazzola; El Shaarawy (61’ Belotti), Lukaku (Rui Patricio, Boer, Karsdorp, Pisilli, Joao Costa) Coach: Mourinho

REFEREE: Mr. Guida from Pompei
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Kjaer (M), Mancini, Huijsen (R); Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 5′