Nightmare Before Marakana as Spezia Annihilate Zero-Shooting Milan

All dreams, sooner or later, come to an end. And tonight, Milan had a reality check as – just after hoping to further distance Juventus along their ride towards the Scudetto – the Rossoneri shockingly fell 0-2 to a magnificent Spezia in Serie A Round 22.

Surely, playing against an angry old acquaintance like Riccardo Saponara and a possible future surprise like Tommaso Pobega was not going to be easy for the Rossoneri. Still, despite starting with an almost complete first-choice team, Stefano Pioli’s side put together an awful performance in La Spezia.

The home side Italian trequartista and Kevin Agudelo had a few occasions already in the first 15 minutes to overcome Gigio Donnarumma, but the giant with the number 99 was quick to impressively remind to the whole Serie A about his skills, saving his teammates at least for a while.

On the other hand, the first shiver down Ivan Provedel’s spine came only after 25 minutes, when a header by Theo Hernandez ended its run not so far from the post. This was not the match Stefano Pioli was expecting from his men, who seemed scared by the high pressure put in place by Vincenzo Italiano’s side.

The Serie A front-runners had a very tough first half, never finding a way to threate the Ligurian side. Only once, during the initial 45 minutes, did the Rossoneri manage to show their potential and that was thanks to a Theo Hernandez invention. The Frenchman released Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who opened wide on the right for Rafael Leao, but the home side managed to thwart his effort.

In the second half, the capolista tried to steer the match in the direction they want, but it was Spezia, on the contrary, to slot the ball home twice from two counterattacks. On 56 minutes, Giulio Maggiore was served an easy chance to tap thed ball in and, ten minutes later, Nicola Bastoni killed the Rossoneri with a left-foot shot to the far post to which Donnarumma had no answer.

The match virtually ended here, as the Rossoneri never managed to get close to Provedel again, while Spezia went close to make it three as Gennaro Acampora hit the post on 93 minutes. 

An awful match for Milan, and a big welcome-gift from Spezia to their new owners, the Platek family, who earlier this week completed the acquisition of the Aquilotti.

Is the Rossoneri dream over? Five days before a key Europa League match at Belgrade’s Marakana, Stefano Pioli will need to keep his men’s moral high to avoid seeing the beautiful creation made in the last seven months collapse.

For one night, Inter can dream: both Milan and Juventus lost their matches and, should the Nerazzurri beat Lazio on Sunday night, they will take the lead of the Serie A table for the first time this season.



February 13, 2021 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 22

SCORERS: 56′ Maggiore, 67′ Bastoni

SPEZIA (4-3-3): Provedel; Vignali, Erlic, Ismajli, Bastoni; Maggiore (82′ Acampora), Ricci, Estevez; Agudelo, Gyasi, Saponara (Zoet, Ramos, Marchizza, Capradossi, Dell’Orco, Chabot, Agoume, Pobega, Verde, Sena, Galabinov) Coach: Italiano
MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Diogo Dalot, Kjaer (64′ Tomori), Romagnoli, Hernandez; Bennacer (64′ Meité), Kessié; Saelemaekers (82′ Hauge), Calhanoglu (82′ Castillejo), Rafael Leao (64′ Mandzukic); Ibrahimovic (A. Donnarumma, Tatarusanu, Kalulu, Gabbia, Tonali, Krunic) Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Mr. Chiffi from Padova
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Vignali, Bastoni, Erlic (S); Diogo Dalot (M); Extra Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half 3′