It was another Serie A goal-fest at the San Siro as a tenacious Roma lineup held Milan to a 3-3 draw to break the Rossoneri‘s perfect record and their four-game winning streak.
Three times did Stefano Pioli’s side take the lead on Monday night, and three times were Paulo Fonseca’s boys able to draw level in a match that offered a little bit of everything – from classy goals on the part of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edin Dzeko, to both good and bad goalkeeping, to controversial refereeing – with arbitro Piero Giacomelli awarding two more than questionable penalties, one to each side for the sake of equality.
Milan however managed to maintain the top spot in the table despite conceding more goals than they had in their previous four Serie A outings. Paulo Fonseca, on the other hand, must be happy with the performance offered and the progress shown by his Giallorossi – who would still be unbeaten in the season if not for their absurd Amadou Diawara blunder in the first match-day.
At the end of the day, it was a fair draw between giants Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edin Dzeko in their very first encounter in a top European league, with the Swede “winning” 2-1 when it comes to the personal goal counts.
Of course, the coronavirus couldn’t fail to put his stamp on a yet another Serie A game. This time, Milan were deprived of their portierone Gianluigi Donnarumma, along with Norwegian sensation Jans Petter Hauge. That gave a chance to former Fiorentina goalie Ciprian Tatarusanu to make his debut between the posts for the Rossoneri but it would prove to be a bad solution for Pioli as the Romanian international should have done better in the occasion of at least two of Roma’s goals.
Paulo Fonseca’s surprise move was Rick Karsdorp on the right midfield side. The rest of Roma’s lineup was deployed according to plans, with Henkrik Mhkitaryan and Pedro Rodriguez to support center-forward Edin Dzeko.
Milan drew first blood from their very first offensive chance. After just two minutes, Rafael Leao chipped the ball with an impressive pass through for Zlatan in the box. The Swede stretched his right leg to elude Marash Kumbulla’s marking and gently put the ball past Antonio Mirante to break the deadlock. It was goal number five for Zlatan this season.
But Edin Dzeko was quick to draw level for Fonseca’s side, taking advantage of Tatarusanu’s missed aerial catch from a Lorenzo Pellegrini corner kick. Alessio Romagnoli’s marking on the Bosnian could have been better as Dzeko had enough time and space to power a header in the back of Milan’s net and re-establish parity.
The first half was essentially a balanced matter with Milan initially taking control but eventually pushed back into their half as Roma progressively organized themselves.
From a Hakan Calhanoglu’s corner in the 30th minute, Simon Kjaer went close to put the home side ahead again but his header conversion bounced back into the field after hitting the left post. Roma’s subsequent attacks gave Ciprian Tatarusanu a chance to redeem himself as the Romanian shot-stopper produced a double save on Roger Ibanez first and then Lorenzo Pellegrini, his second endeavor being much more difficult than the first.
In the 42nd minute, Hakan Calhanoglu gave another sample of how dangerous he can be from set pieces as he whipped a free kick towards Mirante. The Roma goalkeeper held his own and managed to parry it back. That was the second time the Turkey international tested the Giallorossi‘s goalie, with Mirante being equally up to the task.
The second half opened just like the first – with Milan scoring a lightning fast goal thanks to another Rafael Leao effort. This time, the Portuguese youngster ridiculed Rick Karsdorp as he darted past him and along the left flank to provide a golden service for Alex Saelemaekers. All the Belgian had to do was slotting the ball home to make it 2-1.
The Giallorossi‘s reaction was again fast but had a different outcome this time, as Dzeko missed the target at the end of a team-effort fast break also involving Pellegrini and Mkhitaryan.
Roma would however find an equalizer later in the game, when a controversial contact in the box between Ismael Bennacer and Pedro was deemed a penalty by referee Piero Giacomelli. The ref didn’t change his decision despite Milan’s vehement protests and Jordan Veretout made no mistake to preserve his perfect record from the penalty spot.
Giacomelli returned the courtesy eight minutes later as he awarded an equally questionable penalty, this time to Milan, on ground of a contact between Hakan Calhanoglu and Gianluca Mancini. It was up to Ibra to convert the chance with a violent shot that earned him his daily brace and his 6th goal in the campaign.
Still, it was not over as soon enough Roma would collect their third equalizer thanks to Marash Kumbulla’s first goal in the campaign. The Italian-Albanian defender was quick to the tap the ball in on the far post after Zlatan Imbrahimovic himself had awkwardly deflected a corner kick towards him in an attempt to clear the ball.
Antonio Mirante denied Frank Kessié’s header to keep the score at 3-3 from yet another Calhanoglu dangerous corner kick and Alessio Romagnoli’s last minute header ended just a few inches away from the target. Milan showed they wanted the three points a little more but Roma’s fort somehow managed to hold and, at full time, it was a spectacular draw that earned both sides one point and a good round of applause.
October 26, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 5
SCORERS: 2′ Ibrahimovic (M), 14′ Dzeko (R), 47′ Saelemaekers (M), 70′ Veretout (R, pen.), 78′ Ibrahimovic (M, pen.), 83′ Kumbulla (R)
|MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessié; Saelemakers (72′ Krunic), Calhanoglu, Rafael Leao (72′ Castillejo); Ibrahimovic (A. Donnarumma, Jungdal, Conti, Diogo Dalot, Kalulu, Duarte, Tonali, Brahim Diaz, Maldini, Colombo) Coach: Pioli
|ROMA (3-4-2-1): Mirante; Mancini, Ibanez, Kumbulla; Karsdorp (65′ Bruno Peres), Pellegrini (75′ Cristante), Veretout (85′ Villar), Spinazzola; Mkhitaryan, Pedro; Dzeko (Pau Lopez, Boer, Santon, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Carles Perez, Borja Mayoral) Coach: Fonseca
REFEREE: Mr. Giacomelli from Trieste
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Rafael Leao, Ibrahimovic, Hernandez, Pedro, Cristante ; Extra Time: 1st Half 0′; 2nd Half 4′