Milan vs Spezia 2-1: Giroud Masterpiece Rescues Rossoneri

Milan survived Daniel Maldini’s attempted parricide on Saturday night and resorted to an Olivier Giroud masterpiece goal to bend Spezia’s resistance and overtake Atalanta in the Serie A table, moving second with a six-point gap from the capolista Napoli. 

Spezia once again proved to be a nemesis for the Rossoneri, who took an early lead with Theo Hernandez but saw the Aquilotti equalize via the second Serie A goal scored by Daniel Maldini – a Milan youth academy product and the son of the legendary Paolo.

But Olivier Giroud once again saved the day for the Devils, deflecting into the back of the net a Sandro Tonali cross with an acrobatic scissor kick just before full time, setting the score at 2-1.

The Frenchman put his side in trouble immediately after as he received a second yellow card for exaggerating with his celebrations. Milan had to play the remaining five minutes of stoppage time with one man less but managed to resist and wrap a fundamental win, one week after their faux pas at Torino. 

Spezia failed once again to register any point away from home this season but did give Milan a run for their money. Their coach Luca Gotti offered a chance from the start to the figlio d’arte Maldini as he lost Emmanuel Gyasi to an injury just few hours before the game. Mattia Caldara was deployed at center back as Dimitrious Nikolau was serving a one-match ban. 

Stefano Pioli did some turnover following the Rossoneri‘s Champions League triumph against Salzburg, with Divock Origi collecting his third cap in a row as a starter.

The match at the San Siro provided emotions from the get go and both keepers had some work to do to keep the score at 0-0. The clearest chance was the Rossoneri, with Rade Krunic hitting the crossbar and Bartlomjei Dragowski denying Brahim Diaz on the tap in.  

Then, on 20 minutes, Milan had their opener as Theo Hernandez caught a perfectly-timed long range pass from Ismael Bennacer and channeled his inner striker with a deadly volley to the bottom left corner of the net. It took five minutes for the goal to be allowed as the Rossoneri right back seemed presumably offside. 

At the back, Milan’s backup goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu mostly did his job well but risked a lot on 43 minutes with an ill-timed exit that offered M’Bala Nzola a gigantic chance to draw level. Good for him and for Milan that the Angolan striker missed the target after dashing past the dazed goalie.

The Aquilotti smelled blood and, after an Albin Ekdal header sailed above the bar by a few inches, put themselves back on track with Maldini. The third of the Maldini Dynasty drilled the ball into the net with a fine right-foot curl that must have made his father Paolo stand up from his seat at the San Siro and clap.

Just five minutes later, Tonali presented his candidacy to the “goal of the night” award with a formidable right foot screamer that made the San Siro explode. Once again, though, there was a never ending VAR check – only that this time it ruled against the Rossoneri as it uncovered a Fikayo Tomori foul in the build-up. 

When the game seemed destined to end in a stalemate (and perhaps it would have been  a fair outcome…), Giroud pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for Milan – much to the dismay of Napoli, who were already looking forward to going to bed with an eight-point lead over the chasing pack.     



November 5, 2022 – Serie A 2022-2023 Round 12

SCORERS: 22′ Hernandez (M), 59′ Maldini (S), 90′ Giroud (M)

MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tătărușanu; Kalulu, Gabbia, Tomori, Theo Hernández; Krunić, Bennacer (46′ Tonali); Messias (72′ Rebić), Brahim Díaz (72′ De Ketelaere), Rafael Leão (91′ Thiaw); Origi (72′ Giroud) (Mirante, Jungdal, Ballo-Touré, Kjær, Bakayoko, Pobega, Vranckx, Adli) Coach: Pioli
SPEZIA (3-5-2): Drągowski; Ampadu, Caldara, Kiwior; Amian (54′ Reca), Bourabia (68′ Ellertsson), Ekdal (91′ Strelec), Agudelo (68′ Hristov), Holm; D. Maldini (68′ Verde), Nzola (Zoet, Zovko, Ferrer, Beck, Nguiamba, Sala, Sher, Sanca) Coach: Gotti
REFEREE: Mr. Fabbri from Ravenna
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Bennacer, Tonali, Hernandez (M), Ampadu, Ellertsson, Nzola (S); Red Card: Giroud (M); Added Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 5′
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